Who? The roots of Florida emo-rockers Between the Trees lie in an Orlando church community, where vocalist/guitarist Ryan Kirkland began playing music with drummer Josh Butler and his bassist brother Jeremy. After gigging around their hometown for a few months, the trio recruited keyboardist Wes Anderson and, soon after, added second guitarist Brad Kriebel into the fray. Currently, the alt-rock quintet is in the midst of a national club tour, but already has a handful of summer dates on its calendar, including a stop at East Rutherford, NJ’s Bamboozle fest. Their debut album, The Story and the Song hits stories via the Bonded imprint on Tuesday (April 24),

What’s the deal? The Story and the Song is packed with tight hooks and catchy lyrics (sing-a-longs, anyone?), helping place Between the Trees at the top of emo’s current class. Marquee track “The Forward” even includes the line “here is the song that you can sing-along to.” While the group is clearly driven by the fresh-faced Kirkland’s voice, Butler’s pounding drumbeats are the group’s secret weapon, providing tracks like “Fairweather” with a welcome edge. Between the Trees is also capable of writing a commanding ballad, as The Story and the Song‘s five-minute caboose “You Cry a Tear to Start a River” quickly proves.

Fun Fact: Not only does keyboardist Wes Anderson share a name with one of cinema’s current greats, but all the members of Between the Trees also appear to be pretty big movie buffs. On the group’s homepage, the five musicians open up about some of their favorite films, including kid flicks like Fievel Goes West (Jeremy Butler), Teenage Mutant Nina Turtles (Brad Kriebel), and The Sandlot (80% of the group). MIKE GREENHAUS

Now Hear This:Between the Trees – “Words” DOWNLOAD MP3

On the Web: Between the Trees at MySpace

Talk: Can you hear the music between the trees?

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