Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New Artist: Audrye Sessions

I've written briefly about this up-and-coming band from California, but with their debut LP out today, I thought a more formal introduction would be appropriate. Audrye Sessions was founded in 2002 by singer Ryan Karazija and guitarist (now bassist) Alicia Marie Campbell and currently includes Michael Knox and James Leste on guitar and drums respectively. The group released their eponymous debut EP last year in October, and now bring a full-fledged album (also self-titled) to the table.

The most powerful weapon in the band's arsenal is Karazija's voice. His striking vocals sound, at times, remarkably similar to Muse singer Matthew Bellamy, and thus something like Thom Yorke of Radiohead. Audrye Sessions occasionally channel the emotion and energy of these bands and others, but the group's alt-rock sound contains a unique identity just the same. Their debut is equal parts bombastic rockers and slow, melancholy ballads, both of which they do well. "Turn Me Off," "Julianna," and "The Paper Face," all from the first half of their new record, feature driving guitars, epic choruses, and Karaija's voice raised into a near-wail resulting in a dramatic and emotional ride.

However, while the louder rock tunes make for some great moments, the group's more delicate songs really shine. The second half of the album has several beautiful ballads, like the slow-building "New Year's Day" and the simply gentle "The Crows Came In," and some songs that combine intensity with elegance in a engaging mixture that shows the band's versatility. Audrye Sessions is a promising album and a nice start from a band that should soon be getting some well-deserved attention, so check these guys out on MySpace, or two of my earlier posts for a couple of free songs to get you started.