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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Artist: Hyland
Album: Weights & Measures
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Label: Tooth & Nail Records

In a similar fashion to my discovery of I Am Empire, I also discovered Hyland before they signed with Tooth & Nail, their current label home. A high energy pop rock band with the emphasis on the rock, their debut indie single "Til Death" was quite an impressive listen, and I was excited for them when they announced their signing with T&N this past year. Hyland's debut full length, Weights & Measures finds the band playing a cross of pop rock and alternative rock, that could be compared to Anberlin, Ivoryline and Run Kid Run, especially Run Kid Run. The 12 songs on the album vary from guitar and keyboard heavy rockers to CCM-styled, acoustic driven tunes, and speak of topics of love, life and faith on the lyrical side of things.

Some of the highlights of Weights & Measures come on songs such as "Fireworks" and "Til Death," the former resembling an Ivoryline song, that features the standout line "I've had quite enough of this lust disguised as love," and the latter of the two is a new version of the first song I've ever heard from the band, which adds in layers of keyboards and synths that close the song. Other notable songs such as "The One That Got Away" has a pop rock vibe to it, and was co-written with Stephen Christian of Anberlin, who also provides backing vocals to the song as well, and "Desperate Man," a song that speaks of the band's equipment and van being stolen.

Although there are a good amount of impressive songs on the album, I really wish that the band would dig more into their rock roots, and let those more upbeat songs take priority over some of the slower ones. Now don't get me wrong, songs like "Coast to Coast" have a good groove and hooks, but some of the other slower ones loose my attention a bit. However, being a young band, Hyland have plenty of time to find their sound, and I am confident that they will.

Overall: The Twin-Cities pop rockers Hyland have shown hope on their debut full length album, Weights & Measures. While I would have preferred more of their guitar and keyboard, rock-driven tunes, a few slower songs, such as "Coast to Coast" and "This Love is Free," were done well. I do hope that Hyland will continue with more of their Anberlin-esque sound, and if they do, I think they will make it big, if they won't already with Weights & Measures.

Rating: 7/10

  1. Jumping The Gun
  2. The One That Got Away (featuring Stephen Christian)
  3. Taking The Scenic Route
  4. Crying Out
  5. This Love Is Free
  6. Fireworks
  7. Coast to Coast
  8. Heart To Life
  9. Til Death
  10. Downhill
  11. Desperate Man
  12. Never
(Buy Here)

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