Review: Priory – Priory (2011)

The Northwest is a fertile breeding ground for original sounds and Priory is rooted in that innovation.  This group of four handsome fellas from Portland got together to flood your senses with a cocktail of folk-electro fusion. Mixing tambourine, guitar, bells, bass, keyboards, xylophone and hard-hitting drums to make a tasty treat for your ears.

Comprised of Brandon Johnson (vocals, bass), Kyle Dieker (acoustic guitar, keys, bells, falsetto), Rich Preinesberger (drums) and Greg Harpel (lead guitar, bells, keys). Brandon and Kyle combine forces to bring you the emotionally driven lyrics on the self-titled debut from Priory on Expunged Records. It’s pop deliciousness with the depth of folk music and electro backbeats that makes you want to dance. They find the right moments to introduce new ingredients into each song to create a rich and layered texture without overdoing it.[youtube url=]

You can hear elements of Death Cab For Cutie and The Postal Servicethroughout Priory. The album covers everything from finding the love that will help you put your life back together to the inevitability of death and the importance of family. The boys of Priory aren’t afraid to tackle difficult subjects; in fact they dive right in.

The song “Worthy Dreams” is one of my favorites. The nuances of sound in this song create a whimsical atmosphere that draws you in. It’s fleeting and beautiful, like a meteor shower. Another song that set up camp in my heart was Lady of Late, which lingers eloquently between electro-pop and indie folk. The simple Casio synth melody and electronic drum sample lay the groundwork for this song and lead seamlessly into a delicate guitar riff. When they come together it’s like pure indulgence and Brandon Johnson’s impassioned vocals tell a story of a man who finally allows love into his heart again.

There is something about each track that is intriguing, but there were a couple that stood out to me. It’s really just a well put together album, especially for their first. They will be touring the US by bus to support the new album. If their live show is anything like the album, I can’t wait to see them. They may be coming to a town near you.

Rating: 6.4/10

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