The Tree Ring, also known as Joel P. West and the Tree Ring, is one of San Diego’s most understated and underrated bands. The Folk Americana band Integrates cinematic chamber pop and folk with punctuating horns and swelling strings. Music Instrumentalist and singer Joel P. West and the Tree Ring’s exquisite tunes are ideal for relaxing at home with headphones on a rainy evening or walking in the woods.
As a composer, performer, and songwriter, Joel P. West is known for his scores for Chef’s Table, Short Term, The Glass Castle, and his bands Flood Coats and The Tree Ring. Joel’s music has been described as pastoral, richly textured, warm, and having tremendous emotional nuance. Joel fell in love with music while studying art and design in college. At this time, he realized that music was the only thing capable of capturing his feelings about the world. He started thinking visually about music and making records in order to convey certain feelings, leading him to take up strings as well as other orchestral instruments. Joel P. West was a natural fit when he was approached to create original score music. He believes that authenticity breeds originality and is enthusiastic about music that feels familiar but still pushes boundaries. Part of Joel P. West’s creative process is doing sufficient research to discover conceptual anchors instead of depending on genre traditions. As a result, Joel P. West has developed a versatile music voice that is uniquely his own and can adapt to different instrumentations or styles.
The Folk Americana band debuted their music with acoustic-style singer and songwriter Joel P. West, bassist Doug Welcome, singer/drummer Darla Hawn, and singer Kelly Burnet. Daniel Rhine later replaced Doug Welcome. In the Summer of 2010, The Tree Band recorded their debut album Generous Shadows with Chris Hobson and paid for the session using funds raised through Kickstarter’s donation platform. During the launch of their fundraising drive, The Tree Band’s objective was to raise $5000. By the deadline on November 7, The Tree Band had received 225 donations cumulatively worth $6236, which was a significant success.
The money raised was used to pay Chris Hobson (an engineer in the project), Birgir Jon Birgisson (who was in charge of mixing the record). And the rest of the funds catered for mastering and for the production of physical records.
The Tree Ring recorded their debut album Generous Shadows Idyllwild cabin, which was then mixed in Iceland at Sundlaugin Studios–owned and founded by post-rock band Sigur Ros–by Birgir Jon Birgisson and Joel P. West.
The Tree Ring’s Kickstarter page features a short history of the band, a short video, and $10 CDs. The band filmed one of the new songs and explained what they were trying to accomplish and named Birgir Jon Birgisson as well as other producers they were considering. The page also features a variety of pledge options, such as those utilized for funding initiatives by public radio stations. For instance, for $40, a donor could get a digital download, a signed screen print, a Tree Ring t-shirt, a 7-inch single, and a 12-inch vinyl. It is a sort of NPR-style bracket. Various bands put your name on the album or offer free guitar lessons, but the Tree Ring band prefers to do it like capitalists. It is more or less a presale.