The Tree, from Hangzhou, just release their second record, the EP Run To Sunshine.
Run To Sunshine was produced with the financial support of Converse who took the band to New York to record the EP at Converse’s Rubber Track studio. This is the second record of The Tree, the previous album was produced and released independently.
The Tree had now the chance to work in a professional studio with professional engineers and producers who understood very well the strengths of the band, bringing up the texture of Xu Jun’s voice. The distance between Run To Sunshine, and their first album The Tree is evidently the result of working with professionals who know well how to produce music.
Run To Sunshine features three songs, the first two are re-editions of two songs that appeared in The Tree, “City Of Perfect Melodies.” and “Letter To Myself.” The third one, “Run To Sunshine” is an instrumental that ends well the EP joining the two previous songs through the riff and the five notes that are the central phrase of the song. The cool detail of “Run To Sunshine” is the funky keyboard that adds more character to the music created by The Tree, the instrumental also the horizon of The Tree, they have space to explore deeper in the future the creation of instrumental rock songs.
The Tree has more than one element that makes them interesting, but certainly the main one is Xu Jun’s voice. He does have a very good texture, ideal to sing harder rock, he could be a great rock singer if in his evolution he learns to use the full range of his voice under total control.
The weak spot of The Tree is their English. In China, and all over the planet, is common to find bands singing in English, in many cases it works well, specially for punk, or core bands, when nobody understands what they are saying. The case of The Tree is different, when you listen to their songs you pay attention to what Xu Jun is singing, and most of the time is not clear. It’s possible to pick words, but the idea behind the songs is blurry. And yes, many times we neither understand when native English speakers sing, I mean, without lyrics written maybe I’d never know the lyrics of most of Metallica’s songs, but Metallica is doing dirty metal rock, and Hetfield does not have an strong foreign accent that distracts from the head banging. Singing in Chinese is harder than singing in English, English is a cool language, I know, I love it too, but I think The Tree would be so much more if they would embrace their own language, slang included. They might discover themselves, their identity, and I’m almost certain their music would be much better.
Run To Sunshine works to open new possibilities for The Tree.