Having been chosen as the soundtrack for a commercial first aired during 2012's Superbowl, featured on NBC's Chuck, and supported Snow Patrol, Glaswegian quintet Admiral Fallow are being touted as the act most likely to break through from the thriving Scottish indie-folk scene. Produced by Paul Savage (Franz Ferdinand, Teenage Fanclub), their second album, Tree Bursts in Snow, suggests they have that exact intention. "The Paper Trench" is an explosive slice of nu-folk which echoes the foot-stomping antics of Mumford & Sons; "Isn't This World Enough?" is a future festival singalong anthem which combines happy clappy beats, gospel harmonies, and a tongue-in-cheek take on spiritualism apparently inspired by the comedy of Tim Minchin, while there are definite shades of '80s Bruce Springsteen on the rousing Americana of "The Way You Were Raised" and the ode to their favorite drinking haunt, "Guest of the Government." More purposeful than their 2011 debut, Boots Met My Face, it may be, but they haven't abandoned their melancholic streak either. Opener "Tree Bursts," a reflection on the effect that violence has on the younger generation, merges the delicately sweet tones of flautist Sarah Hayes with the impassioned delivery of frontman Louis Abbott to produce an Elbow-esque slow burner; "Old Fools" is a cleverly interweaving fusion of delicate folk, chamber pop, and post-rock, while stark ballad "Oh, Oscar" tugs at the heartstrings with its stark acoustics, mournful woodwind, and somber melodies. A truly engaging listen, Tree Bursts in Snow should see the band build on their unexpected transatlantic exposure.
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AllMusic Review by Jon O'Brien