For fans of: Sleepaway, Grizzly Bear, and Local Natives
After experimenting with different sounds and genres for a couple years, Braeves came to a mixture of folk, indie rock, dream pop, and other sounds that make up what became Braeves’ debut EP Drifting by Design. This Mike Watts (The Dear Hunter, As Tall As Lions) produced release glides listeners through the 5 songs, in which singer Ryan Colt Levy’s voice drifts over each track. Closing out the quartet is bassist Derek Tramont, Thomas Killian McPhillips IIV on the drums, and Nick LaFalce on guitar and keys, who together create songs that are as well-crafted lyrically as they are musically.
The songs fit together beautifully, kicking off with “Guest of the Gun,” whose strong structure is echoed in the final track, “While Your Body Sleeps,” in pauses and builds between the verses and chorus. “Talk Like Strangers” is much moodier than “Guest of the Gun,” painting a picture of two people who were once close, falling apart. “We talk like strangers in empty storylines,” Levy sings. The chorus describes an unrest in a relationship, but the song itself sounds much like a goodbye. The mellow sounds continue in “Souls in Transit,” but build back up in “Iron Hands,” which lends the EP’s title in the chorus.
Fans of Local Natives, Grizzly Bear, As Tall As Lions, and The Shins will likely find a song that tickles their fancy in this EP.
Release Date: September 9, 2014
Runtime: ~21 minutes
Check Out: “Talk Like Strangers”
1. Guest of the Gun
2. Talk Like Strangers
3. Souls in Transit
4. Iron Hands
5. While Your Body Sleeps
Written by Carina Browder
The Collective & the Individual is the new full length album from The Elephant in the Room, a progressive rock/pop band from New Jersey. The 11 song album was produced by Casey Crescenzo of The Dear Hunter. The band’s Facebook page, they list Rx Bandits and The Mars Volta as influences and it makes perfect sense. Even before seeing those bands listed I immediately made a connection to them. Each song is haunting melodic like The Mars Volta, progressive reggae rock like Rx Bandits, or a hybrid of the two. The final sound is extremely unique and works better than I could have ever imagined.
The opening track on the album, “Left in the Dark”, is an example of the aforementioned haunting melodies. The almost creepy sound when combined with the lyrics and the fantastic backing vocals makes for a great song. Songs like “Monster” and “Never Believe What You’re Told” are similar in style but different enough to where you don’t feel like they are extensions of the same track.
Then you’ve got songs like “Actions Speak Louder than Words”, “Makers Mark”, and “Sky People” which are more along the lines of the more reggae rock sound. Again though, you’re hit with some great and interesting lyrics, for example the phrase “human cybernetic mind control” is most certainly uttered in “Sky People”.
The best songs on the album are probably the ones that successfully meld the different sounds into one great sound of i’s own. Tracks like “Ghosts”, “What You Don’t Know Won’t Hurt You”, and “P-ts” are some of my favorites on the album and are clearly a well-executed amalgamation of the differing styles. You really do get the best of both worlds, somehow getting the darker tones with still a beat of driving reggae rock sound.
Kudos to both the band and producer for this album; they’ve put together an amazing sounding album that is clearly their own. I could just be out of the loop, but I’ve not heard anything like this. They’ve done such a remarkable job of taking melodies and tones that can easily be combative with each other and turn them into an interesting fusion with creative and strong lyrics. This is most certainly an album that I’ll be recommending to people.
Release Date: October 29th, 2013
Runtime: ≈41 minutes
1. Left in the Dark
3. Actions Speak Louder Than Words
4. Neither Here Nor There
7. Sky People
8. Makers Mark
9. What You Don’t Know Won’t Hurt You
10. Never Believe What You’re Told
11. We Will Meet Again
The Elephant in the Room is:
Alfred Vitale – Vocals / Guitar
Joseph Savino Jr. – Guitar / Vocals
Greg Szaro – Drums
Jared Duncan – Bass
Written By: Mark Northern