Cambridge is a band from Fayetteville, Arkansas that was recently formed in early 2013 by Ryan Faires. I'm not sure how they could have already released an impressive ten-song album entitled Solar Plexus. For starters they sound like the far distant cousin of the band Vampire Weekend and they have recorded the album on their laptop instead of in a professional studio. The songs are minimal, often have some tasteful percussive elements and are vocally focused songs. Throughout the songs are good - the only major distractor being that the album was recorded three different places (Paris, TX, Fayetteville, AR and Watercolor, FL). This normally wouldn't matter but there is a substantial difference between quality and volume throughout that could have been rectified during the mixing and mastering stage but wasn't.
The album starts out with one of the strongest songs called “Carmen Sandiego.” A clean guitar, handclaps and other percussion elements make up a spacious, rhythmic canvas for Faires to sing over. The song is extremely catchy. His vocals seep with a childlike tone that fits the music like a glove.
“You’ve Gotta Tell Me” isn’t too shabby but isn't quite as well put together as “Minette.” While Vampire Weekend references may be obvious on this one it doesn't take away much from the song. The song feels like being beachside and from start to finish the song acts like a dose of relaxation. “Lashes Are Up To Bat” is a solid song but texturally inconsistent with the previous song “Minette.” The EP closes with “Honey, the Sweetest,” which has enough of a long reverb on Faires’ vocals that make him sound as if he is singing from the mountains.
Faires considers this album a demo but what's impressive is that this demo sounds better than a lot of DIY indie records. Don’t get me wrong that are still areas of improvements, particularly in engineering, that would have benefited the fluidity of the album but there is without a doubt some good material on this effort.
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