Festival consists of a pair of sisters named Alexis and Lindsay Powell who reside in Brooklyn and craft psychedelic, rootsy, folky music. The Powells weave together beautifully sung melodies and harmonies over a veritable stew of instrumental sounds, contributing guitar, thumb piano, zither, and piano themselves. For their debut on Language of Stone "Come, Arrow, Come!" they are joined by solid cast of backing musicians, who bring added drums, electric guitar, and other percussion. Together, they create a gorgeous album of great richness and variety that will leave you salivating for more.
To hear what makes "Come, Arrow, Come!" so great, I immediately gravitate to the one-two punch at the center of the album, which consists of the songs "Zebulon" and "Bind Us All." Not to discount the rest of the album in the least, but this is a particularly exciting section of the disc. "Zebulon" is a mysterious-sounding piece that centers on zither, tambourine, drums, recorder, subtle guitar drones, and ethereal harmonized vocals. This song almost feels like a model of restraint, given what comes next. "Bind Us All" a folky piece with old-world feeling that pulses with bombastic energy. Pounding drums, tambourine, and other percussion provide the background for a series of overdubbed vocal lines. The voices weave together amazingly, some singing lyrics and some harmonic tones. Together, all of the vocal parts compliment and enhance one another. Later in the album comes another excellent track, the bouncy "Valentine." It begins slowly, and asks, "Oh, Valentine, oh can I know? Should I still try? Or let you go?" Soon after, the tempo ramps up and the song becomes a jubilant celebration with hand-claps, tambourine, drums, and piano adding to the energy. The final song on the album, "Come Outside!" is also worth recognizing. The Powell sisters sing "I don't want to go / I'll stay home, you'll go hunting" in a round over tinny piano and slow drum machine beats. This simple song is a surprisingly potent closer, with it's hazy, melancholy landscape.
The Powell's beautiful melodies and harmonies will stay in your ears for some time, not to mention their incredible instrumental arrangements. Together, the ten songs on "Come, Arrow, Come!" only total about 29 minutes, and those minutes fly by as you get caught up in the music. This album is a ride you don't want to end, and when it's over, you're ready to start again. Really, it's the type of CD that you will to listen to five times in a row to try and catch all of the subtleties that slipped past the time before, and to enjoy all those twists and turns that you loved the first time through.?? ? 9/10 -- Matt Blackall (16 July, 2008)