The Rosebuds

Sand + Silence

Western Vinyl

Aug 08, 2014 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

The sixth full-length from Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp is a Rosebuds album only in name. Instead, Sand + Silence might be better understood as the product of a veritable indie super group. While Howard and Crisp still lead proceedings, old friend Justin Vernon takes on guitar and synth duties (Vernon once claimed that The Rosebuds "...make some of the most important music in the world"), while Sylvan Esso's Nick Sanborn looks after the bass and Bon Iver drummer Matt McCaughan takes care of percussion. This concentration of diverse musical talent was always going to have an increased risk of backfiring, especially with the added pressure that such a collective is bound to generate. Ease your mind, however, as Sand + Silence is a record that combines all the best parts of the indie rock song book into a work that definitely equals the sum of its constituent parts.

While the genre can too often be shrouded in a lack of originality, The Rosebuds take all the right bits and put them in all the right places. Whether it's the Belle and Sebastian shuffle of "Walking," or the Marr-esque guitar on "Death of an Old Bike," each track clicks seamlessly into its perfectly-chosen place. A highlight comes with "Blue Eyes." Bursting with summer ebullience, it's what you might imagine The National to sound like if they decided to be happy. Despite the various parallels, however, this is still a Rosebuds record. Ivan Howard's distinct vocals are constantly in the spotlight, cutting through the mix like a hot knife through butter. When this is coupled with the sheer vibrancy that the North Carolina band have made a habit of, The Rosebuds sound just as full of energy as they did five albums ago. (

Author rating: 8/10

Rate this album


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

August 8th 2014

Matt played in the Rosebuds before Bon Iver even existed…