November 3, 2022 by 1888media
Multi-cultural folk-Pop trio The Burnt Pines, comprised of singer and lyricist, Kris Skovmand, instrumentalist and arranger Aaron Flanders on guitar and banjo, and piano, keyboard player and arranger Miguel Sá Pessoa, have announced the release of Don’t Look Down, their affecting sophomore album, via CEN/The Orchard.
Arriving February 3, 2023, the group will pre-release three digital singles beginning with the title track November 4, followed by “The Ghost Living in My Beer” (December 2) and the radio-focus track, “Bring Out Your Book” ringing in the new year January 6th. Each of the singles will be accompanied by a story-driven music video directed by Skovmand.
With the trio’s core lineup consisting of members based in both the U.S. and Portugal (3187 miles apart), they have skillfully and beautifully demonstrated, in both logistics and craft, the challenges, both professional and deeply personal, a stunning burst of musical creativity, paving the way for Don’t Look Down.
Consisting of 11 original tracks and closing with an exuberant take on the Jethro Tull classic, “Skating Away (On the Thin Ice of the New Day),” the bulk of Don’t Look Down’s lyrics were penned by Skovmand, The Burnt Pines’ Danish-born lead singer, who was separated, and eventually divorced, during the process of writing and recording the album.
Skovmand, also an accomplished filmmaker, is the father of four sons, who make memorable appearances in the official videos the singer shot.
From the opening cut, the spritely “Bring Out Your Book,” to the propulsive title track “Don’t Look Down” and fizzy Jazz-tinged Pop of “The Ghost Living in My Beer,” through tunes shaded with darker tones, such as “What Did You Come Back For?” and the heart-rending “Daytime TV,” Skovmand’s ethereal vocals and self-assured approach to his subject matter is distinguished by refreshing candor, marked throughout by, as guitarist Aaron Flanders often characterizes them, the singer’s “achingly gorgeous” vocals.
“Kris doesn’t generally write quirky,‘happy’ songs,” says Flanders. “I would say that ‘Welcome Home!,’ on this new album is his sort of quirkiest, happiest, kind of more happy-go-lucky song. But Kris was dealing with a fair amount of pain in his life, and difficulties throughout both albums. He was heading towards the end of his marriage, struggling at first to hold it together. His lyrics have a certain beauty to them just as words. But there’s also an ache, an undeniable pain, when you read into them and understand the narrative and the images that he’s singing about. Beyond that, I think his lyrics also bring in other subject matter related to the world outside of his own pain.”
The album also spotlights Flanders as songwriter on two cuts: “Pushing On,” which he wrote as a message of encouragement for his son, and the politically charged “In From the Outside,” which dates from 2016 and was penned not long after the 2016 presidential election.
The new collection follows the 2021 release of their self-titled debut, which spent 11 weeks on the AMA/CDX Top 50 Americana Album Chart, and earned a Top 10 spot on the prestigious Roots Music Report’s Best Albums of 2021 year-end list.
Celebrated as “sublime… an album flush with a delicate folk rock glow, a quiet caress one might find while nestled by a fire on a chilly winter’s night” (Goldmine), the critical and commercial success of their debut has paved the way for Don’t Look Down, the brilliant second album from the polycultural, globe-spanning outfit.