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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Satellite Kite

Artist: Beautiful Eulogy
Album: Satellite Kite
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Label: Humble Beast

The first time I came across Beautiful Eulogy, I instantly took notice of the fact that they were from Portland and based on their image, I figured they were some sort of indie folk group. Turns out I was wrong, completely wrong in fact, as the group in fact create hip hop, and are actually made up of rappers Braille, Odd Thomas, and producer Courtland Urbano. The music of Beautiful Eulogy is quite unique, in the essence that their music feels much more organic than simply a few beats made on a MacBook with the latest production software. The vocals from Odd Thomas and Braille are flawless, whether they be spitting out words so quickly that its hard to keep up or even just a slower, spoken word piece, everything seems fitting, conveying a very explicit message, that of redemption through the blood of Christ, and the incomprehensible love of God.

The misty intro, "Hello From Portland," really lays out an atmosphere for Satellite Kite, and it flows into the first few tracks, which have a darker emotive and mood behind them, not necessarily lyrically, but more musically, before the next interlude comes along, which seems to really hit home the main themes of the album, titled "The String That Ties Us." The song rings with synths reminiscent of the 80s, over a very smooth beat, while the vocal track is from pastor Art Azurdia of Trinity Church in Portland, speaking of the importance of Christian love behind any actions or motives. "Entitlement" follows up, the first song that the band previewed off the album, with a rapid fire flow back and forth between Braille and Odd Thomas, before the music subsides into a calmer tempo, which is used for a spoken word piece by Thomas which somberly ends the song.

Fellow Portland musician Josh Garrels provides some very memorable guest vocals on "Anchor," another darker song, which resonates behind the intimate falsetto from Garrels, and a message that was inspired by the hymn "It Is Well With My Soul," reflecting on Christ being a stable anchor in any time of need, while "Satellite Kite" also uses vivid imagery, painting the blood of Christ as a kite string between Himself and humanity. Vocal sections are used as backing instrumentation on "Wonderful" (which features the group's labelmate Propaganda) and "Motive 1, 2," an interesting move that proves a good outcome, especially in the latter of the songs, a ridiculously energetic and witty track that doesn't fail to have the listener singing along by its ending. From there, the rest of Satellite Kite moves back to a more serious note, which is concluded on "Beautiful Eulogy," laden with piano and clapping/stomping beats, along with a set of group vocals which accentuate certain words throughout the song, leading up to its chorus of "And when it's my time to go, go ahead and take me home, I know I'll be with You." Such a simplistic statement, yet a beautiful inclusion to persevere on with hope.

Overall: I haven't heard anything quite like Satellite Kite before, the debut album from Portland's Beautiful Eulogy. Even for someone jaded towards a majority of hip hop, the album really rings of something different, proclaiming the Gospel message all the same in such an authentic way, that doesn't beat around the bush but is right to the point. The 13 songs of Satellite Kite are all crafted with precision, and not one feels out of place. This album has been my biggest discovery and surprise of the year, and is highly recommended, and it's even free, so why not give it a spin?

Rating: 10/10

Reviewed by Brooks Ginnan


  1. Hello From Portland
  2. An Open Letter to Whoever's Listening
  3. Covet
  4. Take It Easy (feat. Catalina)
  5. The String That Ties Us
  6. Entitlement
  7. Anchor (feat. Josh Garrels)
  8. Satellite Kite
  9. Wonderful (feat. Propaganda)
  10. Motive 1, 2
  11. A Bridge Between
  12. Surrender (feat. Lee Green)
  13. Beautiful Eulogy
(Free Download)

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