Umbrella Tree | What Kind of Books Do You Read?

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Pop: Quirky Rock: Progressive Rock Moods: Type: Lyrical
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What Kind of Books Do You Read?

by Umbrella Tree

A dynamically supercharged melt-your-face-off hiccup.
Genre: Pop: Quirky
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Beetle in Trouble
1:08 $0.99
2. Wisemen
3:04 $0.99
3. Poltergeist
3:50 $0.99
4. The Bird & The Fish
2:58 $0.99
5. Trainstorms
2:54 $0.99
6. Bats in the Belfry
4:05 $0.99
7. Billy Goats Don't Eat Trash
1:27 $0.99
8. Donnybrook Fair
3:13 $0.99
9. A Horse That Will Come When I Whistle
3:28 $0.99
10. Turpentine
5:04 $0.99
11. A Story About Sasquatch
0:53 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Umbrella Tree are on of several local bands on the cusp—they’ve generated a healthy dose of local buzz and seem poised to take the next step to some national recognition. In their corner is a distinct, infectious sound that oscillates from to gothic to raucous to downright strange…
-Nashville SCENE, 19July2007

If you're going to be weird, then it helps to be good. If you're going to wail and flail, forcing people to either come with you or sit ther gawking, then you need to hit all the notes and include moments of exquisite beauty. Local rock trio Umbrella Tree manage all those things. Artsy, quirky, dramatic - maybe even a little spastic - this band's dynamic balance and emotional intensity remain relatable. Both guitarist Zachary Gresham and keyboardist Jillian Franklin (who pass singing duties back and forth) have expressive, musical voices that prevent their sound from ever veering toward farce. Their songs are atmospheric collections of bizarre images drawing on offbeat themes - Gresham's "Bat's in the Belfry" sounds a bit like your crazy old uncle playing an out-of-tune piano in the attic, but in a charming gothic way. That's the thing about this band: they're idiosyncratic, at times dissonant and often strange, but never boring-especially onstage, where they perform with the reckless energy of a high-speed chase.
-Nashville SCENE, April 27-May 3, 2006

Romeo and Juliet, Jack and Rose, Othello and Desdemona. All doomed lovers, all ill-fated by things beyond their control, and all money compared to Bird and Fish. The Umbrella Tree's Zachery and Jillian infuse the silly scenario of these two creatures falling in love with humor, pathos, and one of the most clever lyrics you'll hear this year. The instrumentation and vocals shift and shimmer between speakers, reaching their apex with the most emo interspecies animal-love ever put to record.
-Brent (

The problem with quirky, art-rock bands is that they can often be self-indulgent, inaccessible and too clever for their own good. And upon listening to the opening track – "Beetle in Trouble" – with its percussive foundations and silly lyrics, I had the sinking feeling that Umbrella Tree was exactly one of those bands. Thankfully, the moment "Wiseman" fully kicks into top gear, there is no doubt that the trio of Jillian Leigh, Zachary Gresham and Derek Pearson are onto a good thing. "Wiseman" itself is one of those songs that once it gets under your skin, there's almost no way of detaching yourself from its clutches. With echoes of XTC and Radiohead bouncing around its jazz-rock magnificence, "Wiseman" sets the tone perfectly for Umbrella Tree's conquest of your heart and mind. With eclecticism at the core of Umbrella Tree's agenda, the likes of the whimsical "The Bird & the Fish," with its mixture of ukulele, melancholy piano and jaunty counterpoint, showcase the band's creative spark brilliantly; At times ebullient, dramatic, classical, or downright pleasant, What Kind of Books Do You Read? is worth investigating, especially for the splendor of "Wiseman" alone. It is that good.
-Kevin Mathews (

Hailing from Nashville, TN Umbrella Tree is a three-piece outfit that play some very unique, interesting music – a nice change from everything else I've listened to today.
Despite being small in numbers (three) the band puts out a large sound. Very independent in nature, the music borderlines on progressive rock – but unlike other "prog-rock" outfits Umbrella Tree knows when to reel it back in and put as nice bow on each present.
The shared vocal mix between the three, (two guys, one gal) make for great harmonies and great contrast at times. Very much the free spirit musically,, the trio have a lot more going on for it than bands that have been around years and years in the music scene waiting for their big break.
Larger than life music, sweet vocals make What Kind of Books Do You Read? A true aural delight. Despite gothic tones and an affinity towards the progressive, you don't have to have an acquired taste or live in Europe or Japan to appreciate Umbrella Tree.
- Wm. Alexander (

In less than a year, Nashville trio Umbrella Tree formed, wrote a truckload of tunes, made an album and proceeded to make an immediate impact on Nashville's live music scene, all without much fanfare or any real association with any other established local acts.
How did they do it? For starters, they have some really good songs, but just as important has been their ability to stand out from the crowd by standing apart.
Their music doesn't really fall into any of the popular indie rock subsets in town, or fit in with the more alt-rock aspects of Nashville's non-country music scene, or even any of the other current styles sweeping international indie-dom. After listening to the band's debut disc, ''What Kind Of Books Do You Read?'' we've found that the easiest mathematical path to get to Umbrella Tree's unique sound is The Pixies + Jeff Buckley + The Decemberists + Dresden Dolls = Umbrella Tree.
From The Pixies, Umbrella Tree borrowed the weird, ecstatic male vocal versus cool, disaffected female vocal combination and the famous Boston band's notorious disconnectedness from local trends. From Buckley, the group received the gift of speaker-bending dynamics without ever resorting to heavy metal power chord posturing. Like The Decemberists, Umbrella Tree foregoes self-indulgent soul-baring in favor of fable-like storytelling and strange odes to Western movies and Sasquatch.
But the band Umbrella Tree is arguably most similar to in this musical equation is current Spin-approved buzz band Dresden Dolls, whose obsession with Edward Gorey-like gothic imagery and early-century entertainment reflects Umbrella Tree's own bent toward circus freak show sounds, albeit in a much more rock 'n' roll context.
All these influences add up to an album whose compositional conflicts are ultimately cohesive and whose multiple musical allusions never result in the band bowing to any single one of them.
-All the RAGE, April 20-27, 2006



to write a review

Mary Bue

Exquisite . . .
Something fabulous is going on in Nashville and it ain't country. There's drama and sweetness and heel spurs and little birds and intricately crafted songs from these three wonderful people; it's no wonder that this CD has sold out within a week!

Clever Brian

Best CD I've heard in a while!
Very Unique and inspiring great to listen to. The CD never gets old. I'm trying to get my friends to listen. This is music you just don't hear every day.


By far my favorite CD

Hannah Ellis

Amazing, unique, inspiring music
This band brings a unique perspective to music. Its full of the nashville overtones but also distracting cultural modes. Getting lost in this music is easy, the ecclectic instruments present a diverse feel to much of the music that is around today and the enticing artistic voices bring a new light to harmony and vocalist. This cd, and this band over all is an experience you will never want to live without. Much inspiration in just listening to one song, or one cd.

Lauren Arnold

Creative and unique!
This cd is a great listen and a remarkable show of talent. It is one that I'll enjoy many times over.

Ellen Kresha

One of my favorite albums of all time!
The crazy lyrics and "oh no what's gonna happen next" attitude that this music promotes is sensational! I love it so much! You'll want to listen to it over and over again!! :)