Bowling Green-based rock band Tree No Leaves delivers a unique and groovy sound that band members, describe as “heavy psychedelic soul.”
If you listened to them when they began ten years ago, you may not even recognize their current sound. Lead vocalist and keyboardist Galish explains, “The band has changed so much… It started with an ambient, minimalist kind of approach that was all improvised.” When the group added drummers to the mix, the music wore more of a rock sensibility.
Sound and sight
Galish explains that three or four years ago the band took on a more ‘serious’ approach and has since maintained a consistent aesthetic.
“Visual arts is a huge part of our aesthetic,” says Galish. “Even in the digital world, I always needed a visual element to go with [our music].” To marry the sonic and visual aesthetic, Tree No Leaves illuminates their live shows with a projected light show and has created numerous music videos to illustrate their concept.
“Toledo is such a visual arts city, and music goes along with that,” Galish continues, “[Visual art] is one of the reasons I started a band, so I could make music that, hopefully, inspires people to paint a mental picture of what they hear.”
The evolving group focuses on collaboration, working with local artists and others in surrounding areas.
“Everyone’s supportive of each other [in the arts scene] and it’s not very competitive,” says Stebal. Producing music, playing concerts, or developing album covers, the group works with others enthusiastically.
Their latest album, Prophet Holographic, was recorded and produced by Shawn Daley, bassist of Toledo’s Amelia Airharts. They’ve also worked musically with local duo Heavy Color on various projects. Other collaborations include BG artists Mary Dunkin and Will Santino. At live shows, they reach out to other musicians that share the stage, building connections to Toledo’s scene while keeping their hometown, BG, close to their hearts.
They take pride in the fact that no two performances are the same, and their lengthy catalog, compiled over the band’s 10 year career, gives them plenty of material to work with. The band’s performance style changes depending on the show and setlist. “We curate the way we play our sets with the bands that we play with,” Gruber relates. Their sound accommodates other genres, playing to the strengths of collaborating musicians.
Expanding their music has led to career successes. Recently the band was featured in Relix, a live music magazine, and won 88.1 WBGU-FM’s Battle of the Bands competition. They will also be featured in the live music documentary Live at Howards airing on PBS in 2019.
Tree No Leaves, a musical progression, won’t be stopping anytime soon.
Catch their show 8pm Saturday, December 14 | $5 cover Handmade Toledo, 1717 Adams St. | treenoleaves.com