“I’m just going to give this a quick listen,” I tell myself as I press play on the new Earth Electric album, ‘Vol. 1: Solar.’ “Just once all the way through. Maybe twice.” Fast forward 6 hours later, and I had listened to the entire thing approximately…well, I’m not sure of an exact number, but it was definitely a lot. Enough to start singing along with lyrics, and enough to know this album has earned a permanent spot on my ipod.
The thing about this record is it doesn’t go slapping you across the face dramatically like it’s Susan Lucci trying to get your attention. Instead it calmly, subtly sucks you in, in the same way that bands like the Deftones often do. This is largely in part to vocalist Carmen Simoes, whose melodic vocals teeter between that of Amy Lee and Shirley Manson, depending on the track. “Mountains & Conquerors (pt. 2)” is one example of the latter, mixing charging, chugging metal with Simoes’ airy yet powerful, ethereal register. Likewise, “The Endless Road” and “Earthwise” lean towards the experimental hard rock genre, offering up a sound that I could loosely liken to Ghost, but with a female singer. Other songs, such as “Sabbatical Moons,” “Set Sail,” and “Meditate, Mediate,” lean slightly more towards the tribal side, with hypnotic beats, a hint of Jefferson Airplanes, and a dash of Stevie Nick’s witchy woman appeal. In fact, the band appears to channel Nicks and company in their stripped down, ritualistic final track, “Sweet Soul Gathering.” While this was a surprising favorite thanks to it’s unconventional delivery, the stand out song arguably has to be “The Great Vast.” This number stuck out to me again and again, and got my attention every single time it came on. It’s dark and seductive, and would make a phenomenal choice for a single. (Just thinking about it made me want to queue it up. If that’s not the sign of a good song than I don’t know what is.)
Again, ‘Vol. 1: Solar’ is not one of those hundred-mile-a-minute, Red Bull for your ears, kind of albums. It’s groovy, chill rock, seemingly rooted in bohemian, Zeppelin era culture. Fans can find the album, as well as the latest info on Earth Electric on the band’s official Facebook page.