Kaisla’s How to Grow a Peach Tree floats back and forth between feelings of childish joy and the feelings of anxiety that come about in young adulthood. The album is as florid-pink as Double Bubble from the dusty shelves of the corner store and as sweet as its titular fruit at the end of August. All from an album that was recorded in a closet.
Piled into Kaisla’s closet are cop cars and dented cars, a VHS copy of The English Patient, soup stained pants, and a box of family photos. This closet is also a soft, quiet place that drowns out the discordant world and the people that occupy it so a lot of “Thinking and Feeling” occurs here, as she sings about on the tongue-tying track four.
The lo-fi style of How to Grow a Peach Tree is the ideal treatment for these songs. Kaisla’s voice is incredibly warm and easy to listen to – like hearing an old friend after a prolonged time apart with only text-based messages in between. The album has a Great American Songbook feel to it if the songbook got left out in the rain and the ink ran, warping all the songs together. I wish I could write songs like these.
The ripest songs of the bunch are “How to Grow a Peach Tree” and “All Grown Up”. On the former, a man with a southern accent (I picture him as being an older guy with dirt permanently embedded in the creases of his knuckles) welcomes you and, throughout the song, offers tips on how to grow a peach tree in your backyard. Meanwhile, Kaisla softly falls around him, musing on healing processes. “All Grown Up” is a quick little ditty with a lasting emotional wallop. It’s about Facebook purges, drifting apart from your friends as you age, and how hard it can be to talk to people even when you need the company – so it’s about my life.
Pick this tasty treat off the branch and dig into one of the sweetest offerings of 2017.
Top Tracks: “How to Grow a Peach Tree” ; “All Grown Up”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)