7/3/13 The Vantage – Summer EP
Despite having nearly 1,700 miles between them for the majority of the making of this EP, nothing was able to stop James Mason and Jackson Wise from creating something as exceptional as Summer for their debut as pop/rock duo, The Vantage. Summer epitomizes that very title through a synthesis of crisp and original sounds which come together to form an incredible summer soundtrack. From their single “On My Way” to promising new songs such as “Something In The Air,” and “City I’m Dreaming Of,” and the sweet summer love song, “From The Start,” the welcoming tone makes it easy to imagine the positive summer atmosphere, anywhere from laughing around a fire on the beach, to driving around with the top down. The Vantage encompasses a musical style similar to a fresh twist on Matt Nathanson, and although they seem to portray a consistent sound throughout, there is no denying the strong, raw talent that this duo possesses.
“Changes” begins with lone, strong, vocals and the tone is instantly captivating. It is a sublime balance through an introduction which picks up into a upbeat melody and a sharp kick off for the rest of the EP. The band’s debut single “On My Way” is a down right good, fun song with a catchy and empowering tune, and is easily a personal favorite. “Something In The Air” envelops a sweet summer sound with an incredibly inviting vibe. The track is one of those that makes you want to smile, a go-with-the-flow feel implying that something bright is ahead. Vantage, by definition means, “a place or position affording good view of something,” and from where I stand, these boys definitely have a good view of the bright future in front of them with The Vantage.
6/30/13 Never Shout Never – “Sunflower”
With a strong history of reinventing their sound and style with each release, Never Shout Never’s new record Sunflower definitely lives up to that reputation. They consistently intrigue listeners and leave them continually speculating what’s next. Sunflower debuts a fresh new blend of sounds and gives off an overall laid back vibe. Leading off with “New Sound” the band portrays exactly that. With opening lyrics “old school’s coming back around,” they certainly express this throughout the record. As they revive a sound which is comparable to the great artists of the late 60’s with a contemporary edge, they prove their creative talent even further. Featuring positive and upbeat tunes such as “Malibu,” “Good Times,” and “Subliminal Messages,” as well as slower and more mellow songs such as “I Need You,” “Sunflower,” and “Knock, Knock,” plus our personal favorites, “Wild Child,” “Falling Up,” and “Old Timer,” this record definitely integrates a multitude of styles. Sunflower encompasses the flawless engineering, and gentle balance of melody and instrumentals.
When “Subliminal Messages” surfaced online a while back, it had everyone excited for what the band had in store. Vocalist Christofer Drew released an acoustic version of the song and the excitement only grew stronger. The song presents a cheerful and stress free attitude towards life, as does the majority of the record. “I Need You” slows the album down a bit with an smooth sound, generating the ideal slow dance atmosphere. “Aeroplane” begins with a hopeful and optimistic tune which is seemingly different from the other tracks, with a very classic twist. The final song, “Time Traveler Blues,” showcases Drew’s strong vocal ability, as well as presents an outstanding combination of all of the sounds on the record, and is an incredible culmination. Never Shout Never have made their mark once again. With an ongoing sense of positivity, Sunflower is a wonderful record to ease into summer and leave the past behind.
Pre-Order “Sunflower” out July 2nd, now!
4/27/13 LIGHTS “Siberia” (Acoustic)
From the very first note, it is apparent that this record is different from anything that Lights has done in her previous releases. With “Siberia” (Acoustic), Lights has yet again proven to the world the absolute versatility and raw talent that she possesses. Featuring collaborations such as the American Electronic project, Owl City, Canadian rock band Arkells’ frontman, Max Kerman, and the French stylings of Canadian singer-songwriter, Coeur de Pirate, there is certainly a fluid blend of genre’s throughout the record.
Leading off with “Banner,” Lights instantly captivates the listener with the authentic vibe in her voice and flawless dynamic. With songs like “Where The Fence Is Low,” “Suspension,” and “Peace Sign,” She proves how different a song can feel when it is void of the melody that made it known. “Siberia” (Acoustic) offers an entire new perspective. Uncovered from the energetic pop mixes that she is known and loved for, her natural talent is simply sublime. Lights was able to re-create each song in it’s entirety and make them all new again. Stripped down and simplified, the only thing that makes this record similar to the original “Siberia,” is the lyrics.
Get “Siberia” (Acoustic) on iTunes April 30th!