Chasing Twisters EP by Delta Rae (2013) EP REVIEW

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Information about Chasing Twisters EP by Delta Rae (2013) EP REVIEW

Published on February 5, 2014

Author: JasonQuin1992



There is my written review notes for my EP review of folk-rock band Delta Rae's 2013 EP entitled the "Chasing Twisters EP"

WATCH my video review of the EP HERE:

Chasing Twisters EP by folk-rock band Delta Rae, which was released on November 15th 2013. o Delta Rae is a Dunham, North Carolina born folk rock band consisting of siblings Ian Hölljes (vocals and guitar), Eric Hölljes (vocals, guitar, piano and keys) and Brittany Hölljes (vocals), as well as Elizabeth Hopkins (vocals), Mike McKee (percussion) and Grant Emerson (bass guitar). Artist Background: The band name “Delta Rae” came from a fictional story the Hölljeses' mother intended to write about a Southern girl named Delta Rae who summons the Greek gods to earth. o The title of this EP, “Chasing Twisters”, is actually based on the folk story of “Pecos Bill, who is a cowboy that lassos tornadoes” The siblings started the band in 2009 after lead singer Brittany graduated from the UC-Berkley. The band made their official professional debut at Duke University, which is the alumni of brothers Ian & Eric, in 2009 o In February 2010, the siblings bought passenger tickets for Cayamo, a live-music cruise through the Caribbean, featuring dozens of established and up-and-coming musicians and singer-songwriters. Although the band wasn’t on the official bill they went the boat performing and actually won the cruises’ open-mike contest. The band has also received shout outs from President Obama, Pharrell and Alanis Morissette. Professional Success: The band used to crowd-funding site “Kickstarter” to fund the making of “Carry The Fire”, the band’s debut album (release June 19th 2012), before getting signed to Sire Records The band played at 2013’s SXSW music festival in Austin Texas with fellow folk-rock bands Wild Feathers (and Lianne LaHavas) as well as at Bonaroo Fest in Tennessee. They are currently working on their sophomore album, which is due out later this year. The band were also the special guests of the PS22 Chorus (of Staten Island New York) where the kids covered a few of the band’s songs including “At the Bottom Of The River”, “If I Loved You”, “Dance In The Graveyards”, ”Fire” and a cover of Oasis’s “Wonderwall”. The links to these videos can be found in the description of this video. The band is inspired by a wide range of artists, including artists Fleetwood Mac, James Taylor and Kayne West.

Track by Track Review I first heard of Delta Rae on iTunes. After hearing them I knew I was going to like them because of the vibe that their music gives off; the band can be characterized as a “vocal heavy pop and folk-rock band” that tends to include a lot of genre fusion and artist inspiration into their material, while still managing to write and include simple lyrics. This includes adding splashes of the blues, traditional country-rock and a bit of the Motown (soul, gospel) genres, in which you can hear many of the bands’ influences. All of the elements above seem to come together in the bands music to create songs that are built around simple lyrics, a lot of big sing-along chorus’s and instrumentation that reminds a little bit of American Authors, Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers. 1. Chasing Twisters – This opening title song seems to perfectly embody the care feel concept and mood of the EP. This song opens with an interesting slower-paced, “Western” inspired rattling drum, whistle and vocal combination, that reminded me of the guitar instrumental entitled “Eastwood” off of Brad Paisley’s 2011 “This Is Country Music” album, as well as the cowboy showdown scene that you would likely in an old western film. The song then, with the help of some emotionally passionate vocals, builds up to the explosive chorus, which seems to be built around the powerful attitude-filled, raspy vocals of Liz Hopkins’ wild and rolling guitar. The song is then finished off with some soft underlying piano and group background vocals. 2. Run – This track is by far the most upbeat track on the EP as it seems to explode from every angle with energy and life. The song opens up with a very short, light, airy instrumentation pattern that explodes into the free flowing body of the song; which is led by the rolling instrumentation of the dominant drums and guitars All of this is topped off by some catchy very gentle, yet powerful lead and breathy backup vocals that bring an amazing amount of life to the track. o The instrumental style of this song matches up very well with the lyrical meaning. As I said before, instrumentally this song has a free flowing style to it, as it is driven by its instrumental hook and strong melody. Lyrically this song is written as a story that deals with wishing that you could erase your and become a different “new person”. These next two tracks entitled “If I Love You” and “Dance in the Graveyards” are actually updated rereleases on songs that the band included on their 2012 debut album. It is obviously a high risk for a band to attempt to change a track that got positive reviews and was basically perfect from the start. In both of these tracks, though I do feel that the bands struck gold as the changes really enhanced both track without really forced. With that being said we’ve seen many bands attempt to record their hits during the course of their career with mixed or negative reviews. One example of this would be Everclear’s 2011 greatest hits album Return to Santa Monica, in which the rerecorded their some of their greatest hits with a couple new surprises. More on that album when I review an Everclear album.

3. If I Loved You (ft. Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac) – This track is the new rendition of the bands successful single entitled “If I Loved You”, off of their 2012 debut full-length album Carry The Fire that features Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac, one of the bands idols. For this new version it seems like the bands stripped the song down to its bones and rebuilt it, this time adding a choir and horn and group claps. While this change certainly slows down the energy of the EP (as compared to the first couple tracks), but I believe the rebuilt is done in a way that will keep listeners interested. This new version of the track is a slower-paced, piano and guitar led ballad that features Liz Hopkins on lead vocals, singing about a lover that she doesn’t have feelings for anymore and doesn’t really want to be with. The vocal performance on this track is both very sentimental and very honest, especially during the chorus, which leaks of pure, heartbreaking emotion that I believe will stay with the listener for awhile after you hear this song. 4. Dance in the Graveyards – Like “If I Loved You”, this track has been updated and enhanced from the original version that appeared on the band’s debut album. The original version featured a drum and guitar opening that seemed to turn into a band jam session during the chorus of the song, when the lead vocals of Ian seemed to flow directly into some group background vocals as well as fun, active instrumentation. o This newer version sees Delta Rae putting a positive spin on the haunting, eerie thought of a graveyard. The song starts out very slow with an interesting simple yet strong drum beat that travels through the song and mixes nicely with the vocals in the songs. The song then seems to gradually build up towards the main chorus, as the drum beat is mixed with interesting shorts piano chords and the sharp vocals. The chorus of the song is introduced with a mix of clapping, playful piano and buzzing guitars as well as group vocals that bring the song to a dramatic and cheerful close. Simply put this song is an anthem that celebrates the afterlife and the loved ones we have lost in a cheerful and beautiful manner. 5. I Will Never Die – This track starts out with a slow soulful vocal and drum beat pairing that gradually builds into the main chorus with a lot of energy that can be seen with a strong vocal and smokey atmoshpic presence. The chorus sees the overall strong vocal presence continue, both solo and group, with booming lines that fit very well with the strong drum backbeat. All of the elements of the chorus eventually come together to create a type of as the chorus become more of a musical vision, like we saw with Michael Jackson’s Thriller, that brings the listener back to the golden era of 70’s hard rock and soul and blues, as can be seen with the amazing guitar solo during the chorus. Basically this song can be seen as a chant that spreads the message of never wanting to die in a mysterious, dark, often witchy way. My Thoughts Overall I really enjoyed this EP,

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