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Thin Cities
Artist: Braille
Label: Common Cloud Records
Time: 11 Tracks / 

This album starts off with a whisper. It hints at the greatest that is to follow on _Thin Cities_. The first song is an off kilter ambient piece until the Chicago native poet Thax Douglas begins to read his poem “The Opposite of Flames.” After hearing this two minute gem you know you are not going to be treated to some unoriginal, run of the mill band. With “Flames” Braille establishes dramatic tension from the very first note and quite amazingly it’s never broken. Their delayed guitars and finely crafted music creates a yearning inside your soul that reminds you “this is not your home” (from the song “Tread Softly”). “Thin Cities” is like a symphony that talks about the human experience and each song is its own movement. This is definitely a release that must be listened to in its entirety because these songs are just incredible. A stand out track is “The Greatest of Things.” It ambles through a gamut of emotion. It begins slow, which builds a sense of aching hope this paired alongside Heather Hladish’s vocals creates an intense listening experience. The crowning achievement of this release is the use of strings throughout, by using them they communicate both the joy and sorrow that we are all destined to encounter. They do not rush their songs. There’s no urgency they simply allow these eleven songs breath and take flight themselves without being forced. Fans of Sigur Rós, Radiohead, Joan of Arc and Leo Nine will find “Thin Cities” to their liking. Braille’s introspective lyrics and wistful guitar sounds make this one of this years best releases. This album will take you on a glorious departure from this world to the world where the streets are paved with gold.

Aaron Anderson  11/9/2005

In addition to writing for Phantom Tollbooth, Aaron also independently writes poems, devotionals and more about the human condition. To read more of his writings or order some of his books go to:


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