To be honest, watching the first presidential debate made me a bit sad. Without going into any sort of specifics or protruding any controversial statements/opinions, I think the debate shed some light on the problems within the political system that the United States faces, and I exited with more questions than I had answers, and not much optimistic energy. Walking back to my dorm, I put on my headphones and decided to listen to The Channel Drifters’ debut eponymous EP The Channel Drifters for the first time, and, being completely honest with you, it helped alleviate some of the conflict I was experiencing.
With this being said, the music that The Channel Drifters provide is very, very soothing and warm. The stripped down instrumentation combined with the precise, smooth vocal harmonies made for an incredibly easy listen; about as smooth as it gets, really. Now, I am not a huge fan of the genre(s) that The Channel Drifters coheres with to say the least, but I can say with confidence that I enjoyed this band’s debut release. Folk/rock is a genre that, to me at least, really seems to either hit or miss, and I feel confident in saying that The Channel Drifters hit, and hit hard.
I think my favorite thing about the album is the imagery it seemed to invoke; I was constantly imagining blue skies, long, winding roads with no traffic, and a long road trip ahead that could continue indefinitely with the only thing certain being the pleasant, encompassing atmosphere. At its core, I would say that this is a pop album as the music is not exactly complicated, yet sounds very full and proper. The melodies are catchy and move well with the chords. It’s clear from the beginning that the vocals would serve as the focal point throughout the album with the contrasting male-female dynamic giving a conversational illusion. Although the lyrics themselves may be occasionally melancholy, the ways they are presented seems to say everything will be okay. In “A Thousand Ways” the female voice croons “You scratch my head, I bite my tongue, and you just leave me there,” with the male voice joining in harmony to reassure that “I wont give up on you, because I know you need me to.”
Aurally, this album sounds great. Not only is the production fantastic, but the band sounds like they have been playing together for their whole lives. The songs are executed to their full potential, which is pretty rare for a debut release. The combination of relaxing, tranquil acoustic guitars and thrashing, soulful, bluesy electric guitar played to The Channel Drifters’ favor immensely. It sounded to me like the relationship between that of the acoustic and electric guitar reflected that of the male/female vocal relationship, as they often move together in dynamics. I would also like to note the cohesiveness of the album, which stood out to me, only amplifying the smooth nature of the music. Keep on blissfully rockin’, guys; you’re good at it.
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