The first thing bloggers and PR drones point out about indie vets Eisley is that four out of five band members are siblings. While the family-band aspect is certainly novel, listeners would be better off if they saved their attention for the band’s carefully crafted songs and tasteful arrangements. On their latest full length album, last year’s long-awaited The Valley, Eisley’s strong points — lush vocal harmonies, minor-key piano progressions and dramatic melodic leaps, to name a few — got even stronger.
And critics have noticed the band’s evolution: The Valley earned plaudits from alternative publications like Sputnikmusic and Absolute Punk, the latter of which enthusiastically praised it as “the band’s best album yet.” The biggest change for the band, however, has been their maturation as lyricists. Vocalist Sherri Dupree-Bemis explained her growth as a writer in an interview last February with Songwriters on Process.
“When you get older, you naturally become more self-possessed and know more about yourself,” Dupree-Bemis said. “Before, we’d write more fictional songs, but now we have more of a vision about life.”
Fans of mature (if a bit traditional) indie rock are bound to love Eisley’s sound, especially on songs like “Smarter” and “Ambulance.” If the glossy alt-rock arrangements are too commercial for your taste, check out the band’s acoustic performances on Spotify or YouTube before passing on their upcoming show at The Parish.
One of the newest alt-indie bands to break free from “local band” status is Tampa, Florida’s Tallhart.
Tallhart, who earlier this year changed their name from Marksmen because of legal issues, have recently been picked up by Equal Vision/Rory Records, with whom they plan to release an EP, Bloodlines, on April 10.
“Our experience with Equal Vision/Rory Records has been nothing but smooth sailing,” drummer Reed Murray said.
The band is especially grateful that their recent graduation to the league of signed bands has not cost them control over their artistic vision.
“I feel the most important part in working with this label is that we all make decisions together, rather than the label making decisions for us,” Murray said. “Having creative control is something we don’t take for granted.”
The band’s sound may turn off some music snobs (instead of Radiohead and Nirvana, think Coldplay and Foo Fighters), but Tallhart are crowd-pleasers. If you’re into alternative rock, consider showing up to this weekend’s Eisley show in time to see Tallhart warm up the stage for their new labelmates.