Hyland – “Beauty in the Broken”: This song is one simply cut out for Christian contemporary radio. The good news is it stands out above the typical CHR hit. The band is very proud of this and wants to get the message of the song out to the masses, in a way that goes beyond self promotion. This desire shows, despite what critics may say about the musicianship being generic. The message is the goal, clearly. The vocals are spot-on, if a bit overproduced and the vibe of the song has me thinking the band is on the wrong record label. If they ultimately head down the mellow route that formerly intense Sanctus Real and Kutless embraced, this WILL happen. Good worship song, though.
Alt-J – “Tessellate”: This bizarre tune is one of the most fun I’ve heard in a while. This band, properly denoted “∆”, is going to blow up. When hype and musical goodness collide, consider it a done deal. “Tessellate” sounds like something you’d hear in the opening credits of some offbeat comedy-drama, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. The vocals remind me of a cross between Neon Trees’ Tyler Glenn and Two Door Cinema Club’s Alex Trimble. Bottom line – pay attention to this group.
Nine Lashes – “Write It Down”: This song sounds oddly familiar. The vocals are reminiscent of something we might hear from Red, but not quite as desperate. The intro bears some similarities to first single “Anthem of the Lonely” except it isn’t as drawn out. What we have when the catchiness is of the whole thing is added to the mix is a song that simply gets it done. Nothing more, nothing less. Want an optimistic rocker to balance out your playlist with some mindless fun? Here ya go.