BRAND NEW/TOUR: Drawn From Bees – “Of Walls and Teeth”

Brisbane rockers Drawn From Bees have only just released their latest single “Of Walls and Teeth”, and you can take a listen to it right over here! It’s the first single from the bands sophomore album, The May King and His Paper Crown, which is set for release in 2012. Drawn From Bees bring together some fairly conventional guitar sounds on this single (the solos are neat though), but it’s the cool use of vocal melodies and harmonies that really make it stand out.

You can pre-order the single on iTunes from the 12th of August, and it’s officially available on the 26th.

Lately the band have toured the US (even got in a few shows at SXSW!), and they’ve just announced a set of Australian dates throughout October.

Check them out on tour if you get a chance.

Sat 1 Oct – Yah Yahs, Fitzroy
Sat 8 Oct – Masquerade Ball @ The Zoo, Fortitude Valley
Sun 9 Oct – Caloundra Music Festival, Caloundra
Sat 15 Oct – Oxford Art Factory Gallery Bar, Sydney
Fri 21 Oct – The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba
Sat 22 Oct – Restless @ The Loft, Gold Coast
Wed 26 Oct – Nanna Night @ Vinyl Bar, West End
Sat 29 Oct – The Railway Club, Darwin

Just to whet your appetite with another song of theirs (this is one of my favourites), here’s a great video from the band.

LIVE: Groovin’ The Moo, Canberra, 2011.

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Canberra leg of the Groovin’ The Moo festival.

Overall, it was a great day. Getting negative comments out of the way, there were a few jerks in the crowd, and a few sections reeked of weed, but what can you do right? The day was so much fun it was unbelievable, although it probably helped spending it with some great friends too. Over the day I saw a few full sets, and a few partial sets, but here’s what I took from it all.

The Jezabels:

Clearly these guys should’ve been billed much higher. Brilliant drumming, especially on the last track they played (not sure of the title). Their playing was incredibly tight, the singer has an amazing voice, and the crowd knew both of these things. The Jezabels have been climbing up the ranks of Aussie bands for a while now and it shows.

Sampology:

Saw part of his set, but it was really fun. Mixing visuals and sound, The Mighty Boosh remix he did of the Bouncy Castle crimp was brilliant. The Queen singalong was also spectacular.

Datarock:

Saw the first 5 odd minutes of their set and a bit at the end. They sounded really fun, wish I could’ve stayed longer. The saxophonist sounded brilliant.

Plus they had giant inflatable condoms on stage. Enough said.

The Go! Team:

Hadn’t heard much of their work beforehand, but they were really fun and energetic. Almost in a “I really want to dance to these guys” way. I loved how the band members regularly changed instruments too. Added a bit of variation and excitement into the set.

House of Pain:

Witnessed the end of their set, and saw everyone running over for “Jump Around”. It truly was a sight to behold. The whole crowd got involved.

Gyroscope:

The crowd was pretty lacklustre for the first half of their set, but they got them moving eventually. Very big, raw sound. At the time I was in line at the signing tent to meet Birds of Tokyo, but I could still see them. They put on a good show.

Gotye:

Disappointingly, from my spot as I was getting ready for Birds of Tokyo, I could only hear Gotye playing. Couldn’t see them. But they sounded great. Wally De Backer has an astounding voice. Everyone on stage worked together to recreate the tracks in a live environment. If I could go back in time, I’d make sure I saw their whole set.

Birds of Tokyo:

Not sure there’s much for me to say here. Amazing. Brilliant. They sounded great as usual, and their set was really engaging. Still one of my favourite live acts.

The Wombats:

Only knew a little of their material, but they were fun. Did a good job with the crowd I thought, and they sounded pretty close to their studio material from what I could tell.

Bliss N Eso:

I am unbelievably happy I watched these guys do their thing. I’m a fan of the singles I’ve heard from them, but still don’t have “Running On Air”. Might have to get it now.

Out of the whole festival, Bliss N Eso were one of the best acts playing. They know how to get a crowd going. They know how to perform well. They know how to interact with the audience. They know how to get people moving. They had a brilliant DJ. Everything about their show was great. If you have a chance to see them, do it.

Cut Copy:

By this time, I was well and truly freezing. But Cut Copy sounded good. It seemed like a lot of the crowd had left for Drapht, but they did a really good job of getting everyone going. I’m not the biggest fan of their pop, but some of it sounded pretty good. In terms of replicating their sound live, they were great. If you’re a fan, see them.

~

That was my day. It was brilliant, and I’m proud of GTM for making their festival all ages. One of the most frustrating things about being under 18 is missing out on a heap of amazing gigs. Thanks to GTM, everyone could see a brilliant line-up of musicians.

TOUR: Phatchance and Coptic Soldier’s “Hey, Where’s Your DJ?” tour

So you may have noticed I recently reviewed Inkstains (Acoustic) and The Sound of Wings 2, the most recent releases from Phatchance and Coptic Soldier.

Well, they’ve recently announced a co-headline acoustic tour around a few of Australia’s major centres to showcase their new material, and if you’re a fan of hip-hop this is not something you want to miss. They’re touring with a full live band, alongside collaborator and musician Jon Reichardt, and if their recent EP releases are anything to go by, this tour will be special indeed.

It’s a shame they can’t make it to more cities, but if you can make it out to see them you really should. Best of luck to everyone involved, I’m sure you’ll smash it!

See the below poster for details.

REVIEW: Coptic Soldier – “The Sound of Wings 2”

In case you missed it, I reviewed The Sound of Wings quite some time ago. Over here. Ultimately I felt it was an alright release, but that better things were to come from Coptic Soldier. The Sound of Wings 2 proves I was right.

For those of you unaware, The Sound of Wings 2 is an acoustic EP from Coptic. If you’re worried, don’t be, because the acoustic atmosphere suits Coptic’s rapping style more than ever, and it’s amazing how much of a difference it makes. This feels like a niche Coptic could easily slot into on a regular basis, because it works really well, and as a result the release sounds much more cohesive.

Like Inkstains (Acoustic), there’s new material, this time in the form of “I Hate Sleep (Acoustic) feat. Charlie Mayfair” and “Fight for the Fame (Acoustic)”, both of which are brilliant. The latter is a personal standout: musically with the guitar picking and strong back-up vocals, and lyrically.

Vocal melodies and hints of jazz instrumentation throughout the EP help it retain the soulful feel its predecessor had, and I don’t think that’s a sound you hear too often. Which is great, because ultimately The Sound of Wings 2 wins through its diversity. It really sets itself apart. Not content with being any normal acoustic release, it goes that step further to differentiate itself (an increasing trend I seem to be seeing with I Forget, Sorry!’s releases). Which is exactly what makes it such a strong release.

And the effort put into it shows. Coptic and Phatchance both reached capacity at Sydney’s Oxford Art Factory three weeks in a row to showcase these acoustic tracks. That alone should tell you there’s something special here.

The Sound of Wings 2 represents what feels like a natural progression for Coptic Soldier. It’s a big step from his last release (despite both sharing tracks), and it’s where Coptic’s real talent starts to shine. Amongst the mountains of musical trash thrown at us every day, The Sound of Wings 2 proves there is always something special out there – you just have to find it.

Grab lead single “I Hate Sleep (Acoustic) feat. Charlie Mayfair” from Coptic’s triple j Unearthed page here, and pick up The Sound of Wings 2 online here!

FEATURE: In honour of The King of Limbs, I present…

Radiohead: A Retrospective

On Saturday the 19th of February, Radiohead’s long anticipated 8th album will be released – The King of Limbs.

As such, I thought it appropriate to showcase a track from each of their albums. And as I’m doing this properly, yes, I’ll even include Pablo Honey. It won’t be easy to pick the tracks, but it’s something to blog about, and I’m going to do it to the best of my ability.

So, without further ado…

Pablo Honey – “Blow Out”

As a general rule of thumb, Pablo Honey is ignored by most fans when discussing Radiohead. That’s because most of the people who enjoy Pablo Honey adore “Creep”, and in comparison to the rest of Radiohead’s work, “Creep” really isn’t very good.

That said, I find closer “Blow Out” to be quite nice. I heard an acoustic rendition which sounded particularly cool as well (you can find it here), but for the sake of keeping things simple, I’ll focus on the album version. Featuring numerous blasting guitar fills, and a really laid back opening riff, “Blow Out” feels like one of the best tracks on the album. A sign of the type of work to follow on The Bends – plain, but top quality rock. Nothing experimental and weird, but everything a typically great set of songs need.

The Bends – “Street Spirit (Fade Out)”

This one wasn’t particularly hard to pick. Not because The Bends is bad, but because “Street Spirit” is just such an evocative and brilliant song. The cathartic build-up throughout the song culminates in Thom singing “Immerse your soul in love”, and it closes the album perfectly. It’s really quite a moving piece, especially after listening to the album in full.

If you have a bit of spare time, read about the song on Wikipedia here. It’s interesting to read Thom’s thoughts on fans’ reactions to the song. The meaning behind “Street Spirit” is very dark indeed.

OK Computer – “Paranoid Android”

I’ll admit, this was a tough one to pick. OK Computer is full of great tracks, and to not pick some like “Climbing Up The Walls” or “Let Down” seems criminal. Ultimately, I went with “Paranoid Android” because it manages to do everything a great song should do. It sets a high benchmark for bands everywhere. From the cryptic lyrics to the brilliant guitar melodies at the start, the song moves to the melancholic “rain down” section, and manages to pick it all up at the end with a rush of guitars. The movement in this song showcases Radiohead’s skill at creating something more than just a simple song – “Paranoid Android” feels like it could be three songs stuck together, yet also feels like neither part would work without the others.

Kid A – “Idioteque”

Again, like OK Computer, this was no easy decision. Mainly because the material on Kid A is so diverse, yet most of it is very strong. I, however, have a public confession: I don’t like “Motion Picture Soundtrack” that much. I love the lyrics but there’s something about it I just can’t connect with.

Anyway, back to “Idioteque”. The pace and rhythms in this song make it really stand out as something so insanely primal. Thom’s relatively fast vocal lines evoke a sense of urgency and that’s what really drives the song forward. Like most of their albums, Kid A really is very good, and brings something different to the table, but “Idioteque” really stands out for me.

Amnesiac – “Pyramid Song”

Amnesiac is like the twin to Kid A, but slightly more experimental. Which doesn’t mean it’s bad, but it’s definitely an album worth listening to as a whole, and when you’re in the mood for it.

The live version of “Like Spinning Plates” is particularly beautiful, but as it’s not on the full length album, I’m going to go with the equally awesome “Pyramid Song”. The difficult-to-catch piano rhythms are, well at the risk of repeating myself – beautiful. This is one song I can connect with on an emotional level, and it’s hard to not sense the feeling running through Yorke’s lyrics.

“And we all went to heaven in a little row boat / There was nothing to fear, nothing to doubt.”

Hail to the Thief – “Go to Sleep (Little Man being Erased.)”

Hail to the Thief has its ups and downs. It feels like a mix between some of the darker elements of Amnesiac and a more refined, left of center version of the rock on The Bends, thrown in with some electronic influences.

“Go to Sleep” focuses on a little acoustic riff that repeats, building up to include the full band, complete with Jonny’s fills and all. It brings HttT back from it’s electronic influences onto firmer ground, and stands incredibly well on its own. A top song from a pretty good album.

In Rainbows – “Videotape”

And here we are – at possibly the hardest decision for me personally. In Rainbows is my favourite album by Radiohead – everything just works. With the exception of “House of Cards”, which seems just a notch below everything else (although it is a very tiny notch), I can’t imagine the album being any better.

I want to stress that In Rainbows should be listened to as a whole. I’ve picked “Videotape” because I believe it to be one of the best album closers I’ve ever heard. About death and life as a whole, it some how captures the beauty and relief of accepting life as it is, especially in the final lines.

“No matter what happens next, you shouldn’t be afraid / Because I know today has been the most perfect day I’ve ever seen.”

The descending piano patterns, and the syncopated drumming rhythms near the end of the song bring it to life and give it a sense of finality. Best heard after listening to In Rainbows as a whole, but none-the-less, an incredibly beautiful song on its own. This is one of Radiohead’s tracks that never fails to pull at me emotionally (yeah I’m a sook, shut up).

So, there you have it. My favourite track from each Radiohead album. That might change every now and then, but these tracks listed will always be up there in my favourites.

I’ll leave you with a stand out b-side of theirs. It’s called “Gagging Order” and is a little acoustic number. It’s very subtle, but the instrumentation and lyrics make it one of their best in my opinion. You can tell a band is good when even their b-sides are brilliant. Another b-side that you should check out is “True Love Waits”, but I’ll leave that up to you.

LIVE: Grafton Primary, live at The UC Refectory, Canberra (11-02-11)

Last Friday I got a chance to see Australian dance act Grafton Primary at the University of Canberra’s Refectory.

We arrived at about 9 o’clock, hoping to get in early and nab a good spot. To my dismay, it wasn’t necessary for two reasons. Firstly, various DJ’s had been booked to play until Grafton came on – their set time started around 11:30. Secondly, there were no more than 30 odd people in attendance, and with a venue the size of the Refectory, the crowd seemed even smaller and scattered around the room.

Luckily, my friend convinced the organisers to give us a pass out, and we left for the pub. Returning two hours later, we only missed the first song or two of Grafton’s set, and the crowd hadn’t grown too much, but I can say this – the band were cool enough to put on a show for us anyway. I always imagined that for some it could be hard to play to such varying crowd sizes, and it could be hard to get excited about playing in what looks like an empty room, but Grafton Primary did it, and they did it fairly well.

Being unfamiliar with most of the set material, I will say some of the songs sounded very samey – but that happens to me when I see some artists live with no prior knowledge. Sometimes it all kind of blends in. Though they did “All Stars” as an “encore”, which was nice to be able to sing along to something I knew.

The three of them put in a solid effort (although I was disappointed I didn’t see the keytar from the “Relativity” clip), and for such a small show, I was pleased they got an excited response from a few listeners up the front in the crowd. It’s always good to see people showing their appreciation and enthusiasm for a band, and Grafton certainly seemed to enjoy the people who sang along and got into it all. Time will tell whether their sound evolves into something more, or if they sit on what they have now. At any rate, it’s good fun, and their dance-floor electro style no doubt hits it’s target market right on the head. I have an underlying feeling that if it isn’t happening already, that the Australian public will soon become tired of a band like Grafton – not because Grafton are bad, they’re not, but because there seem to be a flood of bands like this around doing this thing already. Nothing reaches out and grabs me as a listener and demands my attention, or says “look at me – I do this exceptionally well”.

It was a fun gig, and Grafton play music which has a lot of appeal. Unfortunately, to get the exposure they probably want, they either need to move out more creatively, or somehow refine their style to reach that upper echelon of dance and pop music.

It’ll be interesting to see where they go, but they’re clearly a band determined to stick around – which is always a promising sign.

FEATURE: Albums Of The Year – 2010

2010 was one of those odd years where I can’t say I listened to a whole heap of new albums. For example Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs only got a few spins, despite how good I think it is, just because I got distracted I guess. Anyway, without further ado – my top few releases of 2010, and some not from 2010 too.

Album of the Year: Los Campesinos! – Romance Is Boring

I think I knew months ago that this would be my favourite. RiB displays LC!’s true talent in crafting amazingly evocative, relatable, indie-pop/twee music, and the size of the band (they’re an 8-piece) adds another dimension to their music. From start to finish this album doesn’t let up, and I really see it as the culmination of their hard work on previous releases. A brilliant album, well worth trying.

Notable mentions:

The National – High Violet

Birds of Tokyo – Self-titled

Dead Letter Circus – This Is The Warning

Delphic – Acolyte

Los Campesinos! – Alls Well That Ends [EP]

Johnny Foreigner – You Thought You Saw a Shooting Star But Yr Eyes Were Blurred With Tears and That Lighthouse Can Be Pretty Deceiving With the Sky So Clear and the Sea So Calm – EP

There are other releases out there I listened to, but not enough to really appreciate or develop a real opinion of – so I’ll leave them out.

The rest of the year was spent appreciating Johnny Foreigner’s two albums, which are absolutely brilliant. They have cemented themselves as one of my favourite bands in the past three months, and hopefully will one day get the recognition they deserve. I also discovered the rapper P.O.S. who is amazing, with a great delivery and provocative lyrics.

For those interested, the past twelve months on Last.fm show my top artists as:

  1. Los Campesinos! – 2471 plays
  2. Karnivool – 1354 plays
  3. Johnny Foreigner – 1264 plays
  4. The National – 959 plays
  5. Radiohead – 853 plays
  6. Birds of Tokyo – 787 plays
  7. Dead Letter Circus – 664 plays
  8. Bloc Party – 523 plays
  9. We Are Scientists – 325 plays
  10. Death Cab For Cutie – 258 plays
  11. Thom Yorke – 253 plays
  12. Queens of the Stone Age – 231 plays
  13. Josh Pyke – 223 plays
  14. Modest Mouse – 198 plays
  15. P.O.S. – 182 plays

Happy New Year everyone!

REVIEW: A Family Of Strangers – “New Techniques for Beginners & Champions”

If you’re a regular triple j listener you’ll have no doubt heard of The Butterfly Effect. That said, you may not have heard specifically of Glenn Esmond, or his new side-project A Family Of Strangers. Created as an outlet for musical ideas that didn’t quite fit The Butterfly Effect, AFoS’ first release is entitled New Techniques for Beginners & Champions .

My experience with The Butterfly Effect is limited to their more popular singles and their 2008 album Final Conversation of Kings, with their prog-influenced, heavy style of rock, that’s both accessible and entertaining.

The warped beeping of “Lovely (The House at Number 23)” sounds initially like something further from home, but the reality is that this is an EP full of anthemic, accessible rock. This isn’t a bad thing, but those expecting something a bit heavier won’t quite get there. There are moments of surprise that will throw you, and moving between the rockier tracks and softer piano ballads, AFoS have got musical movement and variation nailed.

There are some great textures explored, and it feels like although there are similarities between AFoS and TBE, they could quite easily branch out on their own to form another entity entirely. One of the biggest pitfalls of the side-project is that it will sound too similar to everything else and never take off. AFoS have got considerable influence coming across, but with continued effort and with time, I believe A Family of Strangers will find their own feet and impress their audience with a completely new charm not seen before.

Verdict: Give it a shot. Although it’ll be more for some than others, but it’s charming and an easy listen.

Get over here and grab a free download of “Don’t Forget (03.03.03)”.

REVIEW: Birds of Tokyo – “Birds of Tokyo” – initial thoughts

Though I’m currently going through a self-imposed Facebook exile in order to get more school work done, the moment I heard about a stream of the new Birds of Tokyo album being made available to “fans” of the band, I had to get onto it! Luckily someone I know managed to quickly provide me with the appropriate details to access the stream (if you’re reading this, you know who you are, thank you!), and so I decided to take 40 or so minutes out of my day to tell you all about it.

Beginning with the ambient, relaxing, second single from the album, the title track “Plans” launches the album into something that feels incredibly different from their sophomore release “Universes”. Instead of the relatively heavy guitars of “Broken Bones”, “Plans” seems to be leaning in a poppier direction. But who’s complaining? Ian Kenny’s vocal melodies work just as well in this area as they do in his rockier work (which is more than evident in his work with Karnivool). It doesn’t feel like they’re pushing themselves in this direction either. From “Universes” it feels like an easy progression. Despite what some may claim, I really don’t feel like this is selling out at all. If this gets played on commercial mainstream radio, all the better in my opinion.

After “Plans” fades out, we’re reintroduced to “The Saddest Thing I Know”, the first single from the album. “The Saddest Thing…” lifts the album back into familiar territory with a groovy and prominent bass-line, overlayed with tremolo guitar lines.

“The Dark Side Of Love” is about exactly that, though despite it’s sullen subject matter, it’s not overbearing and weighty. Which is good, because if it were I feel it’d be a bit too much too soon. It moves along at a solid pace though, and it does a good job of reinforcing my confidence in  BoT’s ability to craft solid albums through and through, not opting for the easy path of singles and filler material.

“In The Veins Of Death Valley” isn’t as gloomy as it sounds, and it’s a good continuation on from “The Dark Side…”. This song isn’t clicking with me right now, so I’m hesistant to really say whether I like it or not. I think I’d rather just leave it.

Moving onto “Circles”, the album starts moving the way I thought it would. Though not as radio-friendly as “Plans”, it has a relaxing start to it, before bring in some churning palm-muted guitars. It shows that the band hasn’t merely focused on the upbeat, rockier side of things, musically. They’re bringing out tracks that contrast with each other, which is what can help make an album successful in the long term.

Though “Wild At Heart” brings out an interesting drumming pattern, and lightly sprinkled string lines, it hasn’t caught on me yet. It just seemed to pass me by. Though bear in mind, these are comments after a first listen. I’m pretty patient, so time will tell.

“The Gap” starts off with what feels like a monotonous guitar rhythm. Once the strings become sprinkled over the top it becomes more interesting though. The chorus builds the song up, but it’s the layered vocals, the bridge/coda near the end, and the thumping drums before the song fades out that stand this one out there.

“Murmurs” begins with a lightly picked guitar line before rocketing into a punchy chorus. The piano melodies in the back suit this song really well, and Kenny’s vocals sound particularly amazing on this. Lyrically so far this album seems at least on par with “Universes”, though I often find judging lyrical quality easier after quite a few listens. Sometimes it takes a while to see if they have a strong longevity.

“The Unspeakable Scene” begins lightly before abruptly introducing a jumpy guitar riff, which is complimented by the strings melodies in the background. This album certainly feels more symphonic than previous releases.

“Waiting For The Wolves” has a great chorus, but it easily slides into the description of any of the rockier songs mentioned. Still with that layer of strings, still with that thumping bass line. Featuring a line of “oh’s”, it feels like they try to reach anthemic heights but don’t quite get there. I’m sure it’ll be a hit to sing along to at gigs, but the feeling doesn’t quite translate to a studio format. None-the-less, it’s still an alright song.

With a title like “If This Ship Sinks (I Give In)” I was expecting something brilliant, and I got it. Not letting up in terms of pace for the first section, it then moves onto a descending piano line and sombre bridge, finally fading out to finish everything up.

Overall, the album feels solid and consistent at the very least, and those who fell in love with “Universes” will most likely adore this release. The side of BoT that they explore in slower, atmospheric numbers like “Circles” has gotta be the highlight for me. They just seem to set the mood so much more effectively than other tracks. I can’t praise Kenny’s vocal skills enough, and although they aren’t exactly an experimental or challenging band, they’ve got some good songs here. For me, “Universes” was solid, and has some infectious and brilliant songs, but overall as an album it didn’t quite stand the test of time. So far this one doesn’t have the equivalent of “Silhouettic” or “Broken Bones”, but “Plans” and “The Saddest Thing…” are completely different songs, and are well done in their own right. Time and longevity will no doubt be the real test for this album as well, but I can definitely see it hitting a few Australian end of year lists. For a first listen, it’s not bad at all.

REVIEW: Coptic Soldier & Miriam Waks – “The Sound of Wings”

The pairing of Coptic Soldier’s rapping and Miriam Waks’ soulful vocals proves to be an effective combination on their debut EP. Coptic has shown he’s got something special after touring with artists like Bliss n Eso, The Herd, and even De La Soul.  Miriam has been nominated for the 2007 ACE Awards, the 2008 MO Awards, and has featured on Spit Syndicate’s “Towards the Light” (an ARIA nominated album). These two artists clearly have talent. So how does it turn out when they work together on “The Sound of Wings”?

Let me begin by saying that it’s very interesting, and I mean that in the best way possible. There are plenty of hip-hop artists out there who have used great singers like Miriam as backing vocalists before, but the way that they’re both balanced out evenly across the release works excellently, and is a testament to both of the duo’s skills. Not only vocally, but in an instrumental sense “The Sound of Wings” proves to be something a bit different. Drawing influences from various cultures, it brings in bright brass sections, subtle plucked-string riffs, and traditional hip-hop beats.

Opener “Why Suffer” is a perfect starting track for the EP. It’s up-beat vibe and the tension built up towards the end really make this track work well. While it doesn’t feel like any other track really returns to this kind of, almost “party” (for want of a better term) feeling, which is a slight disappointment, the rest of the EP is fairly solid.

Title track “The Sound of Wings” provides a brilliant bridge to the last few songs. It feels relaxing, and though it’s short, I feel like it’s a really important part of the EP. To me it felt like it was what the whole EP was built upon, in a thematic sense. Despite being so drastically different, “The Sound of Wings” is captivating and feels integral to the release.

Lyrically, some lines just don’t feel right. They either feel clichéd or forced. This is a rare occurrence, but when it happens it’s noticeable. For example: “I can feel it coming in the air tonight” from closer “In The Air Tonight”. Unfortunately lines like this make it difficult to listen to a song and hear it as it should be heard – as the artist intended.

The extreme contrast between the two vocalists really adds some variation to the melodies, and it gives the duo more room to expand their style. Although Coptic’s rapping feels very laid-back and casual, at times I feel like it could benefit from a bit more of a bite. The vocals though are generally quite good, but often the songs feel like they wander along and just don’t go anywhere. Sometimes there’s just nothing to grab my attention.

Despite all of the EP’s highs and lows, I feel like Coptic and Miriam have produced a solid debut EP. Musically, the cohesion between the different genres and cultural styles sounds effortless, providing enough contrast to hold interest without creating friction. Lyrically they deal with subjects they feel strongly about, like alcohol and religion, and this heartfelt outpouring of emotion shows some sincerity and artistic integrity. I can’t help but feel there are areas for improvement, but clearly Coptic Soldier and Miriam Waks have a dynamic way of creating music together, and I’m sure in the future they’ll refine their style. Until then, “The Sound of Wings” aint bad at all.

Verdict: Positive.

Check out some of their work, with other artists, in my I Forget, Sorry! mixtape here.

Or grab a couple of free songs from their triple j Unearthed page here.