Album review: Thieving Irons' 'Behold, This Dreamer!'

There’s a broad yearning streak cutting through the center of Thieving Irons’ new album, “Behold, This Dreamer!” (self-released). It’s the second LP from the group, which guitarist Nate Martinez started when his previous band, Pela, was breaking up in 2009.

Aided here by Josh Kaufman, Andy Nauss and Dan Brantigan, Martinez offers sweeping melodies on songs that soar. He surrounds his sleepy, rumpled voice with swirling keyboards and understated glimmers of guitar, fleshed out with a booming drum part and triumphal trumpet on “Sleepwalking Into the Ocean” and a resonant ascending bassline on the breathtaking title track.

Martinez’s lyrics stitch together impressionistic imagery, tinged with with a sense of longing on “Gentle Hands” and a hint of wistful regret on “Letters to Catherine,” as he accompanies himself with a fingerpicked electric guitar pattern. Not everything works perfectly — the buzzy guitars and clattering drums on opener “End of September” seem out of step with the rest of the album — but most of “Behold, This Dreamer!” radiates a subtle power that draws you deeper in, and keeps you coming back.

— Eric R. Danton

Sleepwalking Into the Ocean
[audio:|titles=Sleepwalking Into The Ocean]

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