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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Fragile EP

Artist: Ryan Blake Martin
Album: Fragile EP
Release Date: January 10, 2012
Label: None

The best artists should not keep their creativity locked away, but should instead freely share it. About a year and a half ago, we were introduced to the voice of Ryan Blake Martin, guitarist of hardcore heavy hitters A Plea For Purging. With a few songs of clean vocals, listeners finally discovered Martin's pent up talent, but it wasn't fully until just about a year ago that we got a glimpse of what was yet to come; a man and his guitar. The Fragile EP is a five song collection, and finally gives the Plea listener a full glimpse of Ryan Blake Martin.

Fragile holds a somber mood over its songs, especially in the lyrical content. "Its In The Pain We Grow" flows with gently picked strings, and touches on getting through times of pain and longing in life, knowing that in the end, we will only grow with the experiences. Both "Turn It Around" and "Wandering Souls" seem to resonate on Martin's touring life, and desiring for home. A near folky guitar line is heard on "The Controller," which reminisces on a past relationship, and the EP's title track, "Fragile," discusses the weakness of people, and how fragile life and love can really be, hitting especially hard with the lines "Fragile we are, broken from the start, forgetting who we are." For those who may have heard an early version of "Fragile" last year, this version is re-recorded and has a bit more of a haunting depth, due to some new found vocal melodies which layer the leading vocals.

Overall: The Fragile EP has been long in the making, and after just about a full year of some covers here and there, we finally get a full glimpse of the solo music of Ryan Blake Martin. The EP's five somber songs show an honest introspection on the sorrowful times in life that Martin has experienced, which have come along with his numerous years of touring in A Plea For Purging. If you've been a fan of A Plea For Purging's more recent albums, which include slower songs which Blake has sang, or if you have a thing for discovering talented singer-songwriters, then the Fragile EP is certainly worth checking out.

Reviewed by Brooks Ginnan

  1. Its In The Pain We Grow
  2. Turn It Around
  3. The Controller
  4. Wandering Souls
  5. Fragile
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