It would appear that when vocalist Adara Ostdiek moved to Austin, Texas and met rhythm guitarist Carissa Chiu, she had found her musical soulmate. The two became friends and formed Indie/folk rock group January & June. The have released a self-titled album January & June which is full of charm and that covers several topical matters from animal cruelty to depression and suicide. Despite the severity of he issues covered, there is an underlining sweetness and optimism that permeates the entire album.
The music is mellow and soulful. Lots of delicate little elements combined with lovely guitar work create romantic movements that are very satisfying. The sturdy spine that runs through every song on the album is the incredible vocal work. Both Chiu and Ostdiek have excellent vocals skills. Their singing style is subtle and understated, but there's a quiet power in their performances that deliver real depth. The pair are also incredible songwriter. Each song delivers powerful, rich narrative, even when the subject matter is lighthearted. While they consider themselves Indie/folk I would actually say the music expands far beyond that classification. There's a healthy amount of quality pop in their work. The percussion and bass also spice it up with subtle hints of jazz and blues.
The arrangement of the tracks seems very thoughtful and well balanced. The album starts of with "Island" and I was in love. It's a catchy song with surf vibes and sunshine, but they hold all this cheesiness and keep it very genuine. Next up is "Gentle Creatures" which has the serious subject matter of animal cruelty. It definitely takes a more somber tone, but is still a lovely listen.
Track three takes the listener back to a more uplifting place with "Slow It Down" which became my favorite track with it's cool, soulful demeanor. Things slow down again with "My Heart" which features incredible lyrics. "World Is Still Spinning" which I feel like could have serious commercial success potential, is a great mix of catchy and unique. Last but certainly not least is "Tell You" which is bittersweet and fits perfectly into the final slot of the EP. I like that you could cut up the album into the light stuff if you like and have a lively playlist that could work in a plethora of situations.
The cherry on top is the production for the album which will make critics and casual listeners alike take this album seriously and want to hear it over and over again. Front and center is the vocal work, and when the time is right the percussion is pulled in front to create an addictive rhythmic sensation that can't be ignored. The recording process gives the album true commercial appeal.
I really enjoyed this EP. It's an easy listen but not shallow in any way. It is with the subtle details that you will find their distinct finger prints on this genre. I have no way of knowing what the dynamic is between the members of the band, but they have a good mixture of solid talent that from my perspective blends pretty seamlessly together. Here's hoping they're working on their next project.
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