Over time I find that records steeped in anger and sadness often have a lot more staying power than those of records whose vibe is of a happier sort. But then again there is also nothing like putting on a song that makes you feel happy, even it’s a corny song or was a number one hit ten years ago or just last week. Happy music has its place in the cannon and it should be noted that a happy song can lift ones spirits in ways that no other man made medicine can do.
I felt very uplifted as I listened to the five-song EP Migrations by the Austin, Texas based indie rock trio Tortuga Shades. The band plays a very uplifting brand of rock full of catchy hooks, danceable melodies, all of which are made to shine even more brightly by singer/rhythm guitarist Nadia Lopez. Her vocals are candy-sweet yet rich and relaxing at the same time, and her cohorts, lead guitarist Gian Diliberto and drummer Wylie Sanchez fashion the perfect melodies to accompany her style.
The opening track “The Sycamore Tree” is a classic piece of indie pop full of fervency. The song takes almost instantly, like a drug kicking in and the world around you seems to disappear as you are drawn into the world which Tortuga Shades are creating before your eyes and ears. Next up “Wild Mind” amps up the tempo and shrugs off a little of the sweetness to bear a bit of its rock n’ roll teeth.
On “Pretty One” they hit their stride to make a jangly, radio-friendly pop single, while also showcasing their ability to take a somewhat simple concept and make it sound fuller and richer than many bands that have not been playing together for a long time.
The production value of Migrations is also something notable. It was recorded in Austin at Studio 601. There is definitely a kinship here between band and producer and one hears it throughout the duration of the record. Migrations is a strong debut from a band that I hope to hear more from in the future.
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