Artist Of The Week - Anchor & Braille

It's been about three years since we've gotten an album from Anchor & Braille, the indie side project of Anberlin's Stephen Christian, but this week, on July 31st, the band's sophomore album will be released. The Quiet Life is a collection of haunting melodies and catchy percussion, certainly a maturation of sound since 2009's Felt. The Quiet Life is available now in stores and online through Tooth & Nail Records.


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Once A Year

Artist: Poema
Album: Once A Year
Release Date: 11/16/10
Label: Tooth & Nail Records

It's been a big year for the girls in Poema, releasing their debut EP in March, Sing It Now, and venturing out on the summer-long Warped Tour, which now brings us to the release of their new five-song holiday offering, Once A Year. Something that is immediately recognizable is that as opposed to their earlier release this year, the EP takes on more of a downbeat, indie flair, that works very well for them. Composed of three covers and two original Christmas tunes, Once A Year is certainly a treat to listen to.

"Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" opens Once A Year on more of a mellow note, but a nice rendition for sure, with a compelling string section to accompany the soft vocals, guitar and piano that echo throughout the song. The next track is an original, "Wool Coats," more of a simplistic track filled with ringing piano and drums, showing off Poema's ability to write a good Christmas song as well. Another more toned down track comes with "Santa Will Find You," which contains guest vocals from producer Aaron Marsh, the former front man of Copeland, which go well with the song, and accompany Elle and Shealeen (Puckett)'s vocals warmly. "So Much More," another original, is the catchiest song on Once A Year and shows off some soothing piano-driven melodies and more great songwriting. The closer comes a bit too fast, being a bit of a different version of "Little Drummer Boy" that I have heard, filled with strings and a guitar to close Poema's EP for this Christmas season.

Rating: 7/10 After a long year, Poema return with Once A Year to spread some joy for the holiday season. The five-song EP is for you if you like your Christmas music with an indie flair and a bit more toned down, but certainly recommended for anyone.

  1. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  2. Wool Coats
  3. Santa Will Find You
  4. So Much More
  5. Little Drummer Boy
(Buy Here)

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