Personnel: Samantha Crain (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Meric Long, Nika States (vocals); Jesse Aycock (pedal steel guitar); Liana Berube (violin); Jory Frankuchen (viola); Michelle Kwon (cello); John Calvin Abney (piano, synthesizer, percussion); Reed Mathis (bass guitar); Anne Lillis (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixers: John Vanderslice; Jacob Winik.
Recording information: Tiny Telephone Studio, San Francisco, CA (12/02/2014-12/11/2014).
Illustrator: Björn Bauer.
Arranger: Minna Choi.
A work loaded with heartache that addresses themes of the working class with, according to its author Samantha Crain, an eye to giving a voice to the sociopolitically disregarded ("the 99 percent"), Under Branch and Thorn and Tree is an indie folk album with a musical stress on indie and a lyrical stress on folk ("You and I, we're blacktop rough, common as the dirt/Sniveling into the phone, trying to help our sisters hurt"). It's ardent, direct, and rugged, featuring tasteful production by indie rocker John Vanderslice, who didn't shy away from strings and synthy sounds on the analog recording. ~ Marcy Donelson