London rock outfit Korda Marshall explodes out of the gate on their debut album Now We Breathe. The five Brit’s who comprise Korda Marshall - vocalist Lisa Hart, rhythm guitarist James Green, lead guitarist Gary James, bassist Rob Barlow and drummer Alex Lane - met at the University of Hertfordshire where they also recorded Now We Breathe. The recording process itself took nearly three years and was written mainly by Lisa Hart, James Green and Gary James. It is important to note this before listening to the album, as it gives some background into the wide range of songs and styles that one hears as the album progresses.
As I noted earlier, Korda Marshall opens Now We Breathe with a bang on “Starlight” which begins with bright analog synths, reminiscent of much of the mid-eighties pop music that England was known for sending across the pond back in the day. But the minute Lisa Hart starts to sing, one realizes this is where the coincidences end. She begins to sing her mantra “it doesn’t matter anyway/it doesn’t matter anyway,” later inflecting “and in the starlight we’ll make it tonight/we’ve made it here/we’ve made it here,” as floods electric guitar and keyboards pound away behind her.
“Yeah Yeah” continues the strong rocking pace with crisp and thick bass lines which play against the lighter synths. And then without warning the guitars rip into the track and the song explodes in noise for a bit as Hart’s high pitched and “not to be messed with” vocals hold their own.
Later on “Memories” tries to rock in the same vein, though it comes off sounding like the a poppy arena rock anthem of the kind that would play softly in the background during a very emotional moment in an episode of Gilmore Girls. The same could be said for the rock ballad “High.” The very next track, “Slow Down” is rather self-explanatory. It is a slow sad pop rock song, in the vein of mid-nineties era emo pop with emotional vocals and guitars which eventually build up to a ballsy rock refrain for a few bars and then goes back to being shy.
Forgiving the formulaic nature of many of the songs on Now We Breathe is for the best. This is because the music itself is well recorded and it’s clear from the start that the band knows how to play their instruments well, and Hart’s vocals and lyrics are very spot-on for much of the duration of Now We Breathe which makes me look forward to the direction this group of talented London musicians will take next.
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