Lady Apple Tree


This gentle, sparkling folk debut from LA songwriter Haylie Hostetter has been working its way into constant rotation around here, and for good reason. As Lady Apple Tree, Hostetter has adopted a strain that feels delightfully lost in the past, owing a debt to ‘60s folk, ‘70s singer-songwriters and a bit of ‘50s country. With a voice that’s hitting the high and clear registers, Hostetter has certainly let LPs from Linda Perhacs, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and Vashti Bunyan spend a bit of time on her turntable, though the depth of her songs touch into Ronstadt and Sill as well. The EP opens up wandering the woods and combing the Canyon for a bit of endless ‘60s skies. The record seeks to slip away from modern moorings, echoing a simple, yet resonant ache. In that quest, it succeeds admirably.

As the record wears on the country countenance begins to creep in, splitting sway between the aforementioned Sill and echoes of The Carter Family or Ian & Sylvia. Hostetter has clearly spent some time honing a classic sound, but the results are more timeless than pastiche, feeling like these could slip alongside some of their influences with a seamless air. The band behind her culls from a cross-section of West Coast luminaries — Connor ‘Catfish’ Gallagher (The Myrrors, Pearl Charles), Ryan Miller (Drugdealer, Pearl Charles), and Cameron Knowler all make their way into the mix, and the record’s careful construction speaks not only to Hostetter’s songwriting but to the careful corralling of players as well. The EP is compact at just eight songs, but each is a lovingly crafted curio that begs a bit of lingering. As a first outing this sets a high bar for what Lady Apple Tree brings next.

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