Album Reviews

SXSW Artist: Soft Lions- Earth Energy Album Review

Soft Lions, a trio that consists simply of Megan, Jon, and Lex, come to us from San Diego and bring to the table what they define themselves as, “moody psychedelic post-riot grrl noise.” While this sounds pretty spot-on, there is more to Soft Lions than what they give themselves attribution for, especially on their album, Earth Energy (2014). They will also be performing at the SXSW Festival this March, in Austin, Texas, and details on that have yet to be announced since the news is quite recent.

The overall album I believe clearly defines what the band was trying to go for and showcases their sound, and different capabilities. Staring off the album,”Earth Energy,” also the name of the opening track, is a great mod-60s rock song, with the psychedelic elements intertwined and carried by an adenoidal voice that just seduces the ear. It is definitely one of the upbeat tracks off the album that is a perfect musical visualization of Soft Lions’ and their influential swirls of the 60s.

The next track, “Soft as Lions,” isn’t as dreamy as “Earth Energy” but has its own appeal, and stands as an anthem. Once again, it is the enunciation and overall vocal approach that brings the weight to the track. The drums are particularly catchy on this song, and during the second minute, the break holds to their psych tone, with an underlying layer of a persistent keyboard, bringing the song in completion.

Taking a break from the previous upbeat tracks, “Diary” exhibits a different side of the band. The track starts off as a slower song, and becomes this deep “moody” 3 minute track, primarily focusing on the execution felt in the lyrical directness’. “I keep a diary for you / so I can show you all the things I love / you ” are the honest lyrics starting the song. “You” stands alone cleverly, and can be looked at not only as the continuation for the next line, “never seen never glimpsed never,” but also to the reference of who is loved in the diary. This parallelism is seen again in the second stanza, and is a creative aspect in their lyrical writing.  The song does begin to pick up the overall  momentum, with the jangles and swirls of the characteristics that create psychedelic rock and pop during the chorus, and the construction of this song holds to be one of my favorites.

Wrapping up the album, “Mountain,” which starts off with instantaneously catchy drums, and a deep filling bass. Vocals are sustained, still adenoidal, and a bit gritty on this track during certain parts. Lots of electronic features that are heard within the bit of her voice and resonation of the symbols. This track seems to focus on what her love is and isn’t “my love won’t tear a mountain down / way down where the shadows lie /I’m moving like a bird does in a storm / I don’t wonder what it means to die / don’t I have the right / to a landslide?” Elements of this song draw out the qualities of that to The Doors, in a female version, which is one of the best ways to end an album.

 

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