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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The Valley [+digital booklet]

Artist: Eisley
Album: The Valley
Release Date: 3/1/11
Label: Equal Vision Records

Heartbreak and pain are common things that we are all bound to feel in our lives, and the DuPree sisters, that make up three-fifths of Eisley, are no strangers to the feeling. The Valley comes as a result of these painful times, with lyrics that at times strike as angry, while others show sadness that the band has dealt with through the years. The songs are executed in a good manner, with the band's indie pop/rock style showing to be on top of its game.

Captivating strings draw in the listener on the opening title track, where a bit more edgy alternative rock sound is ventured into on songs such as the angsty "Smarter," "Sad," and "Better Love." The hand clapping, piano-driven "Watch It Die" bursts into a memorable chorus, and vibrant strings give the slower "Oxygen Mask" a nice touch. A golden acoustic intro and swooning harmonies of "whoa-oo" make up "I Wish."

Slower, soothing rhythms take their place on "Kind" and the calming "Mr. Moon," which are followed by the mournful "Please," before the hauntingly dark "Ambulance" ends The Valley on a reassuring note, that the wait for a new album from Eisley was certainly worth it.

Overall: It's amazing to see beauty drawn out of pain, showing on Eisley's latest. Lush piano-strokes, both edgy and soothing guitars, vibrant strings and catchy percussion and bass are only a few things that add to the enchanting melodies and harmonies heard on The Valley. Those looking for an overall harmonious and beautiful album can look no farther, for Eisley have not disappointed with their long overdue release.

Rating: 8/10

  1. The Valley
  2. Smarter
  3. Watch It Die
  4. Sad
  5. Oxygen Mask
  6. Better Love
  7. I Wish
  8. Kind
  9. Mr. Moon
  10. Please
  11. Ambulance
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  1. I can't help but think that Better Love could be a worship song?

    "I finally found out (you're on my side), with a bullet for the bad guy"?

  2. That's just one example. The whole song seems to be headed that way.