Print, Reviews March 1, 2018

Album Review: Giants & Pilgrims – Bellwether

by Kevin Johnston

Giants & Pilgrims call themselves “a marriage of art and music.” Aptly, Bellwether, the Greeley group’s forthcoming full-length, feels like an impressionist painting, lush with color and rife with rustic detail. The picture painted here explores three examples of sacred spaces via an array of instruments and close mic’d vocals whispering almost mythic indie-folk wisdom.

The project’s ringmaster Timothy Coons describes the three sacred spaces as “moments in life that take your breath away (The Cathedral), the holiness of the every day (represented by The Table), and perhaps the most difficult: The Dark Field. It’s in that space that we feel alone, yet some of the best growth for our soul happens,” he says. We’re lucky that Coons and crew let us in on those dark spots – it’s in their vulnerability where Giants & Pilgrims show the most strength.

“Settled Down” opens the album in a cinematic hilltop fog with a trusty, whistling melody at the vocalist’s’ side. “Everything Gets Better” feels like a deep cut by The National with fluttering snare drums, subtly proud piano and a deep, monotone vocal. Like love emerging from the magic clockwork of some nimble machine, “Guide Your Wild Eyes Down” spins a loom of wonder, while “Empty” drifts along with the putter of soft saxophones evoking a folkier Future Islands. The album’s finish, “David And I” culminates with a tea kettle vocal harmony of “joy.” Their love for subtle, sonic textures creates the palette of one of the most nuanced albums coming out of Colorado this month.

And while sweeping major choruses of “Gloria” could easily slip Bellwether into the realm of cheesy Christian music, they don’t. Deftly, Giants & Pilgrims manage to keep an honesty in this recording, using organic sounds, acoustic instruments, and tame production. Looking at these songs through the microscope of this intimate recording, we believe them. Regardless of doctrine, we identify with the raw emotions Coons and his band display through their lush minimalism.

Bellwether is available for pre-for pre-sale via and will release everywhere March 13.