Tea Leaf Green
It ain’t easy being a gypsy, especially if one sings for their supper. San Francisco’s Tea Leaf Green are newfangled Lost Boys, a traveling gang dedicated to seeking wisdom and experience in places both glorious and seedy. In many ways, this quintet is the essence of rock’s adventurous, playfully outlaw spirit, all of which ultimately fuels songs that resonate with classic vibrations, open-ended possibilities and radio-ready charm. TLG are bruised romantics with heavy minds and a lighthearted way with experimentation, as likely to jam out a number as they are to nail a primo verse-verse-chorus pop gem.
All the steadily growing promise, evident since they began in the late 1990s, comes to fruition on their seventh studio album, Radio Tragedy. With the aid of producer Jeremy Black (Apollo Sunshine), the band has crafted a powerhouse work with the oomph of their stellar live performances melded to a truly impressive array of vocal nuance, rib-sticking song craft and smart studio flourishes. From the Bee Gees-esque bite of “Easy To Be Your Lover” to the bouncing modern rock of “You’re My Star,” Radio Tragedy showcases a contemporary American rock monster fully emerging from the shadows, ready to take on any comers with a sound that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with skilled contemporaries like My Morning Jacket and The Strokes. Together, Trevor Garrod (keys, vocals), Josh Clark (guitar, vocals), Scott Rager (drums), Reed Mathis (bass, vocals) and newest member Cochrane McMillan (drums) have made a record that’s both timely and timeless – a strange, beautiful space that Tea Leaf Green inhabits naturally and gracefully.