Tamer Animals, the sophomore release from the Stillwater, Okla., five-piece Other Lives, is meticulously written and arranged and, at times, vividly cinematic. In the wrong hands, this music could feel labored or overstuffed, but thanks to the makeshift orchestra's shaggy ringleader, Jesse Tabish, these wistful americana-styled tracks (influenced by tabish favorites Sigur Ros and Godspeed You! Black Emperor) rarely feel forced. Instead of the big studio sound of their self-titled debut, Tamer Animals feels organic and lovingly crafted, a record whose lushness often invites you to simply collapse into it. other lives fits nicely with the pastoral richness of fleet foxes (whose influence is felt in the vocal harmony arrangements here) and the elegantly wasted music of Kurt Vile. On 'Landforms', crestfallen strings swell with tabish singing about the 'Oceans and Plains,' and you can almost taste the salted air. The dark, hymn-like 'Weather' is similarly visual, but prophetic and baleful. 'The Sun is Getting Closer to the World,' sings tabish, clearly not talking about soaking up rays."
- Rough Trade