Friday 27 December 2013

Walking Relic - Sojourn

EP review by

The acts that bands and artists list as influences can make for interesting and sometimes puzzling reading. Amongst the big yet credible bands that Oklahoma trio Walking Relic cite (The Beatles, The National, Santigold) are a few bland mainstream indie acts (Athlete, Snow Patrol, The Killers), plus the odd surprise like Enya. What's more surprising is that this combination accurately paints a picture of their own music on new EP 'Sojourn', and what's most surprising of all is that the combination works. They have the big pop hooks of bands like The Killers, they have the indie sound that many of those bands suggest, yet they also show an experimental streak that may be inspired by Santigold and even Enya (they're female-fronted which helps this comparison), and they show an alt-rock credibility with it, one that The National and their like share.

On the evidence of these three tracks, Walking Relic do have a more commercial sound than some alternative music fans may be looking for, but they're not exactly mainstream. Crossover potential exists here, but it'll take a little work before those platinum discs start appearing. Not through lack of good songs, but through their style being just too left-field for the charts; the way they need to work it is to slowly build a fanbase rather than dive straight in at the deep end, but they have the ingredients to make it happen. Essentially this is a fairly familiar blend of indie-rock and electro-pop, so not exactly revolutionary, but they have the songs to carry it off. Plus, the belting vocals of 'Every Little Thing' and 'Galaxy Quest' don't pull any punches (it's perhaps telling that another influence is Florence and the Machine, although we'd add Beth Ditto to that list too). Sandwiched between these two songs is 'Burn', a tune made from the same building blocks and completing an EP that could easily have been split apart and released as three singles.

Walking Relic's website

Buy the EP

Catch them live:

Fri, Jan 10, Belle Isle Restaurant & Brew Pub, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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