Envision the idyllic summer day, full of bright sunshine tempered by a cool breeze. There’s always a feel of optimism on those days, coupled with an innate connection to nature, and an almost inexplicable urgency to make the most of the world around us. With a dreamy folk haze, those summer sensations are synthesized into song on “This Year Be,” the latest from Bend, Oregon’s Left Vessel.
To understand how the song forms its musical link to such an intrinsic seasonal emotion, we need look no further than the artist behind the moniker Left Vessel, Nick Byron Campbell, and his unique approach to creating new sounds. Making instruments from trees is nothing new. However, in crafting the instrument, the tree is usually destroyed. On his upcoming album One (And Driftless), Campbell worked extensively with an instrument he dubs “the arbow” that makes music with the living and unharmed tree. (You can find out more about Campbell and the arbow here.)
However, Campbell’s connection with the physical natural world may not explain everything. Perhaps there’s a deeper understanding that allows Left Vessel’s “This Year Be” show us a path of light and hopefulness.
Campbell explains the journey that gave him the vision for the song:
“I have an aunt who’s a shaman. For a while we were training together and she was showing me the art of shamanic journeying. In my journeys with her, I took the form of a fox that would disappear down into a hole in a creek bed by my grandma’s old house in Ohio, where I grew up. Inside that hole was another world. This song came out of those journeys. The faint vocal hook that trails out at the end of the song was my shamanic song that was given to me during one of the journeys.”
Campbell’s delicate-yet-expressive vocals are set beautifully to an acoustic melody full of playful banjo and building strings. The song is a bright, orchestral folk jam that’s a perfect refresher on these summer days.
Without further ado, Mother Church Pew is proud to present the premiere of Left Vessel’s “This Year Be.” The full album One (And Driftless) will be released on June 25, 2021 via GiftShop Records. You can pre-order One (And Driftless) here.
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Featured image of Left Vessel by Elisa Terrazas Campbell