The Vanas come out the gate with their EP Raw like alternative rockers with a taste for folk and dance. That’s a winning combination especially when you have vocals like Jefferson Airplane and the production sensibility of someone very attuned to light rock. The sound has a great weight even without high gains or multi-layered tracking. The songs are easily digested and have an underlying sense of pop, but it’s just dressed up in hand me downs and hasn’t perfected its walk yet. This is alternative for the introvert.
Ashlyn Lequire’s voice is the highlight of the album and makes each song unique and rich, which is no easy feat when you’re game is gently rocking vintage revival. What’s not so highlighting, is the fact that I was only able to hear a sampling of each track thanks to some glitch in the provided MP3-sharing site. Nonetheless, I can make do with the material that was showcased. If anything, let it be a teaser to the full cuts, which I’ll leave up to you guys to encounter. Fun fact, you’re gonna want to hear them.
Each song borrows just a little blues and capitalizes with the aptly named, “Blind Blues.” The guitar is perfectly dirty and grungy while the drums stay sloshy on the hats and find a good balance between swing and a shuffling 6/8. As usual, the vocals are attractive and enticing even when describing a broken heart feeling like “floating off a river for all eternity.” For a small taste of the band, this four-track EP does a fine job.
The other standout track for me is “Gotta Get Lost.” It feels loose and relaxed and yet still subtly driving like a jazz record. In a response to its predecessor, “Lost” takes what was great about “Gotta Get Lost” and livens it up with a surf rock vibe. The guitar accents the verses with bends and quick interval descents, although they would serve better with a little more grit behind the tone. If one thing needs to be taken from this, it’s that Lequire’s performance is more than alluring. She’ll have her way with you and these guys are just getting started.
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