I Am the Branch - Drink Tea (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

I Am the Branch

Drink Tea (2008)

Count Your Lucky Stars

I Am the Branch is a lush, breathy project from a Saginaw, MI trio that grew from the solo dabblings of one Robbie Pieschke. Be forewarned, their Drink Tea EP has and will garner plenty of comparisons to Owen. But that's what you get for playing acoustic indie this layered, hushed, wandering and wistful in this day and age.

Pieschke doesn't exactly sound like a Mike Kinsella clone, but he definitely shares some vocal characteristics. We don't get to hear his voice until Track 2 and major standout "If Yes, Do," which comes after a long, swirling, introductory instrumental title track. The Kinsella tones on "If Yes, Do" are a bit striking, but the song's cleverly integrated handclaps, semi-dramatic gaps and crisp guitar plucks drive it along perfectly.

Things continue on Drink Tea in the abovementioned fashion, floating by delicately with enough start-stop strums and light piano flourishes to hold the listener's attention. On "Fight," we get a guest female vocalist for some contrast, and Pieschke actually sounds a bit like Sleep Station's David Debiak. Closer "Like Cathedrals" is the other major standout, with more active fretboard action and a memorable refrain.

A very promising start of sorts for I Am the Branch. Soon enough they should have everyone drinking the Koo--er, tea.

If Yes, Do
Like Cathedrals