Short Takes

buckleybandBrian Buckley Band – “Mother’s Day” single

The first thing that really strikes you about this song is Buckley’s interesting voice. The first few lines are delivered in a hushed tone, but when this guy breaks into that powerful falsetto you swear he could move mountains. The poignant lyrics about a new mother losing her baby couldn’t sound any closer to home, the group’s slightly off-kilter arrangements fit the whole tone of the song perfectly. Buckley’s singing style may rub some pop and rock fans the wrong way, but those drawn to cinematic songs chock full of emotion will love this.

outlikelambsOut Like Lambs – s/t EP

There’s nothing showy about this four-song EP from the outside. The simple slipcover has a black and white photo, the song titles, and the band’s contact info on it. Nothing else. The songs contained within this self-titled release are as soft and melancholy as you might expect, but in the case of this New Jersey cast of many the tunes are lovely. I’m not sure I’d completely classify this as folk, but the shimmering guitar and soulful vocals breathe life into these soft, rambling songs. A nice diversion for those cold nights once the trees have dropped their leaves.

air wavesAir Waves – s/t EP
Catbird Records

There’s not much information to be found on Brooklyn, NY based Air Waves. The group seems to be led by a woman named Nicole Schneit (vocals, guitar) and she is joined by various other musicians on piano, drums, bass, etc. Schneit’s folk rock is light and airy, with just a hint of country threaded throughout. Each of the five tracks on this EP make me think of late summer days – the light has just begun to change into that golden fall hue, but the days are still warm enough to soak in the sun. There must be a lot of people who’ve discovered the little slices of joy on this EP, because the disc is sold out. Check ’em live in Brooklyn if you can.

hollandsHollands – Faces EP

The opening track on this five song EP, “Strong Arm”, makes me think NYC based Hollands is a funky rock band. I don’t completely love the vocals, but man, that bass line makes you want to dance. But then the next song, “Anomie”, makes me think this duo wants to be a folk act. Then there’s the more straightforward rock of “Over and Out”, the sweet and melodic “Coughing Boy”, and the atmospheric “High Class” – all of which leave me wondering just what direction these two really want to go in. Maybe it’s the dip your toe in every pool mentality, but Faces doesn’t truly show off this duo’s best features.