British artist BREATHE releases his new album soon and gave me the opportunity to have a listen and share my thoughts on it. With particular interests in metal and progressive music, it’s clear that his eclectic style has yet to transform into a particular sound. However, this latest album certainly brings together many elements that the Seed EP did not, and is a step in the right direction to finding his niche.
The album begins with the familiar prelude of Seed vol 1, with its low, sultry piano chords and excellently timed beat. Lift, with vocals by Helen Victory, was an amazing match. The vocal prowess of Victory lends itself to the crescendo of the music, especially when she transitions into her falsetto. I would have liked to hear the drums come crashing in straight after the vocals; I found myself waiting for the beat to come in for too long.
Back Again had seemless transitions between sections, with the vocals sung in a different accent than the usual American (a nice change). I think Matthew James (the vocalist) needs to work on supporting his voice through his diaphragm so his pitch is more steady, but definitely has potential as a singer. The Clay interlude reminded me of a ticking clock, with the subtle build up of layers and brief break in the middle creating an interesting sonic picture reminiscent of typical movie scenes where a character travels to a new and exciting place.
With vocals by Jake Brown and Zahid Qureshi, the title track Feather poses an interesting contrast. The lyrics are quite heavy, and the lightness of the piano brings out the emotional significance of the vocal line. It also contrasts with the effect put on the melody, creating what sounds like a physical distance when the whole song is quite personal. Probably the best part of the song was when the electric guitar cane in. Definitely a good choice to bring the message home.
The last two tracks, Nerves and Seed vol 2 were probably my personal favourites. The former had an interesting solo guitar bit intermingled with arpeggios on the piano, and although together they sounded confusing, both parts separately were catchy. Will Heggadon’s falsetto was amazing, transitioning between his vocal ranges was also expertly executed. Seed vol 2 was based loosely on a pentatonic scale, differing enough from the other tracks to make it interesting but not enough to seem out of place.
All in all, this is a solid debut album. I think there could have been some improvements, mostly minor. Definitely a step in the right direction for finding the perfect sound. I give it 8/10.
Genesis, the debut album for rising star Aaalyssa DeBoer is set to release on the 27th of August. A combination of electronic house and experimental, Aaalyssa worked hard to find her sound and perfect it for her new album. Earlier this week, Aaalyssa was kind enough to answer a few of my questions on music, life and Genesis.
1. For readers who may be new to your music, how would you characterise your sound? I don’t want to label it but my music can generally be put into the category of minimal house. It can also be classified as experimental. I put a lot of classical vibes into my music though.
2. Your new album Genesis comes out late this month, what was the inspiration behind the work? My inspiration would have to be my imagination. It’s like what if you were sneaking amidst a revolution? What if you’re wandering through the forest and you catch a glimpse of a faerie? My imagination is that of a child and I use that to my advantage.
3. Do you have a favourite track on the album? Or maybe a particular track that you’re excited for everyone to hear? That’s a hard decision! The one I can listen to forever would have to be This is Not Reality. I usually listen to the same song for hours on end until I get bored of it. This one never loses its appeal for me and it just suites any situation no matter your mood.
4. What enticed you to take on a career in music? Was it something you always wanted to do, or was there a moment in your life where you realised the music life was for you? I always had trouble finding music I liked. I would think I found a genre that I could listen to and then it would turn out it was only a few songs. That is what really drove me to it. The world needed more amazing music in it.
5. As I understand it, you had to put some things on hold in order to find your sound. Do you have any advice for struggling musicians trying to find their way? Yes I did. I had to deal with so many people wondering why my music didn’t sound like dubstep or house to the point I started to not like anything I made. If people are negative and tell you that you aren’t going to make it, you need to cut them out of your life. You’ll make it, it’s just a matter of whether you’ll give up before it happens. The best piece of advice I can give is to not give up.
Minimal House artist Aaalyssa DeBoer released her latest EP Genesis on the 27th of August. Although there are only four tracks included, she uses that time to show her increasing talent in the field. Especially in the middle two tracks, it is obvious that she has been honing her skills, with very smooth transitioning and amicable stylistic choices.
The first track, entitled Genesis, employed the use of a dampened beat. I would have liked it better if that beat was used throughout the track rather than in certain sections. What would have also improved the song is if the dampened beat faded out of into a connected section. Aurora Trailing was had a much smoother sound, with interesting layers that sounded almost contrapuntal. The constant beat was also helpful in orientating oneself in the song. My only criticism of this track was that it faded out too quickly in the final few seconds. A more gradual decrescendo or a continuation of the basic beat into the next song would have been easier on the ears.
I was very impressed by the seamless fluidity in which the melody transitioned from a piano sound to an electronic sound in This Is Not Reality. As the track had a subtle beat rather than a driving one, I think this song in particular would have benefitted from a loud, celebratory climactic section. In Blue Jets and Red Sprites I was quite surprised to find myself listening to a bit of a swing beat. In techno music, the main focus is keeping a steady beat. When a rhythm is swung it feels like it lags behind the beat; because of this I wasn’t sure whether Aaalyssa’s endeavour would work. However, I was pleased to hear that it worked exceptionally well, the only negative thing about it was that it wasn’t in the forefront enough for my liking.
Although the EP gets off to a bit of a slow start, it is clear that Aaalyssa has creativeness and talent. It would have been nice to hear at least one or two big climaxes and a few of the sound choices could have been better, but she shows promise. I give it 7/10.