Braxton Hicks hails from Dover, Delaware, and consists of Carrie Baith (vocals, keys), Bill Bush (guitar), Rod Whisner (drums), Roger Hillis (bass) and Mike Fernandez (guitar, vocals). While the indie rock band cite bands like Middle Kids, Echosmith, The Smiths, The Cure, Sleater-Kinney, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Dum Dum Girls, The Beths, The Pixies, The Police and U2 as their influences, their signature sound of melodic-driven guitars, amped keys, layers of vocal harmonies and on-point lyrics combines to shape a sound that is all their own.
Braxton Hicks is releasing a six-track EP entitled Extraordinary Girl that they recorded in the summer of 2018. While timely, there is no denying that these energetic indie rock tracks retain a timeless vibe that will leave a searing impression onto listeners long after the record has stopped spinning. Each song on this EP is worth repeatable listens.
Right away the Extraordinary Girl launches into “High” that hones a rock-ska sound. The drumming beat is rhythmic and fast-driven. The song describes the high of writing, recording and performing live music: “Feeling alive / Feeling a high once again / Music in my head / Words cannot express.” The band really shows their love of music in this euphoric and dynamic track. The anthemic energy will give audiences an adrenaline high. There is evident on this song a rush of sounds speeding by that is edgy and raw.
“I Get By” starts off to some numerating on the acoustic guitar. This changes up and the acoustic guitar is being supported by a more electric sound on the electric guitar, bass, keys and drums. This is a happening rock track with bouncy rhythms coming from the drums.
Distinct strumming on the acoustic guitar fills the start on “Extraordinary Girl.” With lyrics that exclaim, “Extraordinary girl in an ordinary world,” some melodic keys course through this song. An anthem for women everywhere, Baith sings with style and flair on this rocking track filled with positive vibes.
The guitars are heavy with pummeling bass lines on “Oil And Water.” The music has a metal-tinged feel. The vocals in contrast are upbeat and melodic. With a raw energy and sound, the song describes a raw breakup. With a cathartic cadence reeling with a raw pulse to the energy, this is music meant to be played loud. So, turn up the volume!
“Boy King” is a political outcry that addresses the stresses and tensions some of us may be feeling in regards to the current administration. This is an acoustic song is simply rendered with the acoustic guitar accompanying the vocals at first. Next, the ambient sounds of keys sidles in as well as traces of staccato strings weave in and out of this track. The simplicity of the song portrays the earnestness and pleading in the lyrics as Baith sings, “Mercury rising in this frozen battle bottle / If we could just uncork it delete this dangerous debacle / I wonder when the truth will sink down in?”
On the hope-filled closer, “Stranger Days,” a wall of guitars justifies the start of this track. Upbeat and catchy, this is a happening melding of infectious indie rock and alternative sounds.
Braxton Hicks generates music that looks forward, paving the way to a brighter future. With the message that women are by nature, extraordinary as they go about their lives, jumping hurdles and meeting on with life’s challenges with grace and optimism, such tracks like “I Get By” and “Extraordinary Girl” are filled with female empowerment and positivity. “Girl power” is a reoccurring theme on this album. Baith with her powerful vocals and persona on this EP is a strong role model for young girls everywhere. At a time when females only accounted for 35% of this nation’s summer festival line-up, Braxton Hicks being a female-fronted band, goes above and beyond to produce music that will speak to this generation of music-lovers.
Raw, expressive and riding off some hightail energy, if this record is any indicator, Braxton Hicks is a kickass band. Jam-packed with melodic hooks and fully charged anthems, Extraordinary Girl is a great example of the band’s live sound.
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