Music We Love: "Slow Thoughts" by Family Tree

On the surface, jazz and indie rock might seem like two genres that are too different—too aesthetically disparate—to combine. But after listening to Family Tree’s new single, “Slow Thoughts,” we at The Dentonite are pretty sure the world needs more indie-jazz fusion.

Family Tree is led by guitarist Skyler Hill and includes Isabel Crespo (vocals), Aaron Dutton (on alto saxophone), Jonathan Mones (tenor saxophone), Brandon Broussard (bass), and Connor Kent (drums.) (It seems like The Dentonite can’t get enough of Crespo, whose compositions and arrangements we’ve featured in multiple Mixtape Monday installments, and whose poem “Help” was published in November in The Denton Scribe.) Seeing as the group is made up largely of UNT jazz alumni, it’s no surprise that Family Tree’s sound is technically pristine and uniquely Denton.

“Slow Thoughts” is warm and, as the title suggests, moves toward its apex slowly. The track’s melodies are sweet and thick except during the verses, where Crespo’s flawless soprano is accompanied only by the methodical timekeeping of Hill’s guitar. The song is yet another example of Crespo’s keen ability not just to compose music but also to compose verse: “I sat there in silence / Asking where the garden quit / Growing places just to listen,” Crespo sings. And “Slow Thoughts” indeed invites the image of a garden, or of springtime in general: Kent’s Latin-inspired percussion; the sunny harmony of Dutton and Mones on sax, Hill and Broussard on strings; and Crespo’s melody floating above it all bring to mind open windows, light, and honey. And the track manages to marry its jazz and indie flourishes perfectly, especially by the last chorus, where all elements converge in sonorous unity. It feels like Family Tree is breaking new ground here. We love it.

“Slow Thoughts” is a single from Family Tree’s upcoming EP, Whatever Keeps You in the Air. Listen below and like their Facebook page—we’ll be right there with you waiting to get our hands on the entire project.

Header image design by Brittany Keeton