REVIEW: Deas Vail – Deas Vail

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Artist: Deas Vail
Album: Deas Vail
Genre: Indie Pop
Label: Mono Vs Stereo

Every week my inbox is flooded with all my press copies of albums that are coming up, whether I’m actually the one that’s going to be reviewing them or not. It’s sort of like a less exciting, internet-based music nerd’s Christmas, every week is a surprise, I’m never quite sure what’s going to show up, sometimes it’s pretty dull, sort of like the music journalist’s version of only getting socks and underwear. This week however, was a bit different, this is the week that the new I Am The Avalanche showed up, the proverbial new puppy of press-copy albums; I couldn’t even be bothered to notice anything else that had showed up, which was a rather monumental oversight, if I’m honest. Figurative speaking, this week I got a puppy, and an Xbox, or something else that’s as awesome as getting a puppy; after I had calmed myself down from seeing the I Am The Avalanche album, I noticed that I also got the new, self-titled, Deas Vail album. Perhaps all this whole analogy might be a bit of an exaggeration, but the point being, that I was convinced that after hearing the new IATA album, there probably wasn’t going to be any album coming out anytime soon that would make me turn it off. But it appears to have been dethroned rather quickly. Which makes perfect sense really, Deas Vail is one of those bands that can reach just about anybody, regardless of any other musical preferences or biases; Deas Vail just works, it’s all so well done, it’s impossible to not appreciate.

That sort of appeal is precisely what makes bands like Deas Vail so appealing, most genres of music out there have a very dedicated and particular fanbase, the people out there that are just as excited about the new IATA album as I am, were most likely just as excited about The Wonder Years’ new album, but generally speaking, won’t be bothered to check out the new Oh, Sleeper, for example. But Deas Vail transcends those limitations, there really isn’t much to dislike about such a band, they’re talented, interesting, unique, and generally non-offensive in the best sort of way. A relaxing and upbeat brand of indie pop that even the most salty hardcore kids will end up bobbing their heads to. This album is positively infectious, I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to get the chorus from “Pulling Down The Sun” out of my head, and I’m not sure that I care, either, Deas Vail manages to be impossibly catchy, while never becoming too cheesy, which is a rare trait for a band to have.

Deas Vail isn’t just another overproduced indie pop band, the ethic of this album seems to be based on extensive minimalism, and fortunately, it’s executed brilliantly. Anyone can learn to be good at an instrument, but not just anyone knows how to make something huge with it, out of relatively little. But Deas Vail does just that; instrumentally speaking, the melodies are fairly sparse and basic, allowing the complex, layered and harmonized vocals to really take control and become the driving force of the sound, as opposed to merely an accent, that couldn’t exist without the backing instrumentals. In this instance, the instruments are the accent, providing a perfect compliment to the exquisitely composed vocals. And that is what makes this album shine. The opening track “Desire” is a perfect example of this, the layered vocal lines push the song along, as the occasional drum beat is used, simply to create a swell and build up, underneath the music, while the guitars add depth and atmosphere. The idea of such a thing is fairly unique, and extremely interesting on this album, and that is what adds to this band’s charm, the subtly unique feel is impossible to ignore, or not at least appreciate to some degree. So while many niche-specific releases are going to spark my interest over the next few months, none of them are going to have the sort of flexibility or staying power that Deas Vail has, and because of that, albums like this will always interest me

SCORE: 9/10
Reviewed by: Mike Hogan

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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