Casey Marie Proctor (songwriter, composer, pianist and singer), Shawn Wyman (drummer) and Jeremy Hunter (bassist) first formed in 2010 under the name Medici. They released their first album entitled Arbor and Acer in 2012 and then found guitarist Jason Buck and also welcomed Tyler Newberg to add additional percussion. In October of this year they released their first EP entitled Red Eye.
Red Eye is ultimately a pop record but it is hard to pinpoint. There are elements of rock, electronic and even some soul. It feels a bit scattered at times but the songs themselves are very well written and easy to enjoy. The one thing that really makes the band stand out is Proctor’s vocal work. She has an excellent voice. I’m a bit picky with female vocals and often feel like they are too dainty or the vocalist is trying too hard. None of that here. There are certain vocal melodies, that when combined with her delivery, are exceptional.
The opener “Shiners” is a highlight and is also one of Proctor’s most impressive vocal performances. She sounds good on the verse but great on the chorus, which is undeniable ear candy. The concoction of drums, electronic elements, percussion and piano don't hurt either as they blend with her vocals.
“Red Eye (Alpine Version)” combines tom drums, bass and piano to create a mysterious atmosphere with hints of Persian flavor. I know it’s a bit out there but the verse reminded me of Tool in some ways. The essence is there in her delivery and the general mood. The song’s chorus veers towards standard rock although they don’t dwell in that space very long,
“Gemini” is a soulful tune with a tinge of jazz. It is light and a bit repetitive at points but a solid song overall. The next track “Luna” sounds like nothing else on the album but is a highlight. It contains a lot of atmosphere and is a bit new age-y sounding at times but works. The song really gets good after the mid-way point as they introduce distorted synth bass and post-apocalyptic industrial drums. At this point Proctor finds one of her most poignant vocal melodies. The closer “Youth Grin” is a fine song and displays the band experimenting a bit and sounding good doing it.
Medici has what it takes to be a great band. That being said they need to do a bit of tweaking to get there. It seems as if at this point they are still discovering their sound but haven't quite nailed it yet. With a little bit of focus and time I think they will get there.
As for the EP let’s just say their route to discovery is better than most band’s point of arrival. “Shiners” and “Luna” are two examples of what this band is capable of and I hope to hear a lot more real soon.
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