Album review: Tiny Army: The D Holmes Sessions

Danya LeBlanc, Contributor Ω

C.C. Trubiak's Tiny Army, The D. Holmes Sessions

C.C. Trubiak’s Tiny Army, The D. Holmes Sessions

Having spent each year since I was four at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, I would never try to compare C.C. Trubiak’s Tiny Army: The D Holmes Sessions, released in December 2013, to mainstream music.

In the album release, Trubiak is described as being similar to Mumford and Sons and James Taylor, but this is far from the truth. His vocals do not seem to appropriately match the instrumentals, creating a noticeable disconnect in the harmony. His album is definitely not something that would appeal to a broad or general audience, as the majority of it is very slow. It could put you to sleep if it were not for the unexpected high notes.

Of all the tracks on the album, “Illusions” stands out because of the additional vocals that make up the chorus of the song. The church gospel-sounding chorus creates a harmony that is missing in many songs on the album. Most songs are more country than catchy, but this one seems to share both characteristics. It is climactic, slowly building up to the powerful chorus and making the song easier to follow. The limited instrumental at the beginning of the song helps present the vocals better than any other song. One downfall is that the word “illusions,” for which the song is obviously named, is said about 20 times too many.

After listening to “Blue,” also named after the number of times the word is used in the song, it appears Trubiak has a rather limited vocabulary. The song’s lyrics are extremely simple: “I get blue just dreaming of you / sweet dreams of you make me blue.” This break-up song, like the album, lacks depth. This is evident in the lyric “you and only you / you broke my heart in two.”

The album sounds better the second listen though – it’s quite jarring the first time you hear it. However, even on the first listen through, the song “Room to Grow” stands out. In short, it is simply a beautiful composition. As Ronan Keating might say, Trubiak says it best when he says nothing at all. The track is a short instrumental just over a minute long and seems to have more emotional depth than any other song.

Tiny Army: The D Holmes Sessions is a great listen if you give it a chance. I would recommend it as background music to listen to when you’re studying, as it definitely will not be a distraction. His music is relaxing, but energetic and if you enjoy folk or bluegrass music, you’ll have a greater appreciation for his use of the banjo.