The Appleseed Collective
The band underwent a lineup change in 2012, when its original bassist and vocalist, Sophie Tulip, left for college. Rolston, a recent graduate of the U-M's jazz program, has had a significant impact on the group. In an email, Lee writes that Rolston "has brought a level of jazz sophistication and musicality that gets our hearts a-flutter." With the loss of Tulip's sylphlike twang, Lee has stepped up to the microphone to provide commanding vocals that echo with feeling, at times sweet, at times sultry--the latter at that recent TOP performance when she laid out, with woeful abandon, the riches-to-rags standard "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out."
At press time, Young Love was being mixed and unavailable for a full listen, but live performances of several new original songs reveal the band's individual and combined growth as songwriters and musicians. "Periwinkle Blues," written by Brown, features his charmingly antique-sounding articulation backed by the crisp, buoyant sounds and rhythms of banjo and washboard, the sanguine interjections of fiddle, and a brassy trumpet played by the Macpodz' Ross Huff. What's more, this unity extends from the stage to the studio. According to Lee, most songs were recorded live as a group, rather than piece by piece, "a testament to how much the band has developed as a unit."
The Appleseed Collective celebrates the local release of Young Love at the Ark on Thursday, August 29. Opening act is the Kalamazoo neo-klezmer quintet The Red Sea Pedestrians.
[Originally published in August, 2013.]