Style: Soulful pop/rock; compare to Salvador, Superchick
Top tracks: "I Want to Thank You," "Love You More," "Everlasting Light"
With members from the Midwest, New York City, and France, Sacred Road is far from the typical band that met in a Nashville coffee shop. That diversity is apparent throughout this self-titled debut, which is purebred pop at face value, but includes plenty of jazz, funk, soul, and rock flourishes.
Another distinction is the group's split between two lead vocalists, including the rock-tipped soulfulness of Samantha Herbert and the easygoing porch-pop stylings of David Olson; they trade leads and harmonies throughout. When coupled with an unpredictable rhythm section, the sound can mirror the Latin-infused grooves of Salvador one minute or the surging worshipful stylings of Leeland the next.
Lyrically, the group mirrors Superchick on issues of self-worth, but more mature instrumentation tends toward an older audience—likely college age or above. Whatever the demographic, Sacred Road seamlessly blends the vertical and the personal with a sound that's too fun to resist.
Others worth noting:
Canopy RedCanopy Red
Style: modern rock
Top tracks: "Falling Apart," "True"
With its modern rock approach coupled with piano pop tendencies, Canopy Red evokes The Fray or The Afters, while singing of personal shortcomings and a message of grace.
Step-of-FaithBy His Grace
Style: adult contemporary/vocal pop
Top tracks: "That's Where Life Is Really Lived," "Most of All"
As a female trio, comparisons to Point of Grace or Wilson Phillips are unavoidable, and while Step-of-Faith doesn't add anything new to that genre, their vocals blend naturally over prayerful, inspiring tunes.
ClarmontStrength Like Lion
Style: alternative rock
Top tracks: "Oh, Foolish Heroes," "Taste of Iron"
Clarmont's full-length debut is replete with songs of perseverance and survival, and its ethereal instrumental expressions are akin to Cool Hand Luke or the early days of Jimmy Eat World.
Jim MurphyEverything Changes
Style: piano pop
Top tracks: "Break Free," "Lay It All Down"
A fresh, uplifting sound and style, loaded with pristine production and piano grandeur in the vein of Mark Schultz.
SharmaneLeap of Faith
Style: contemporary pop
Top tracks: "Life Is More," "Put a Little Love in Your Heart"
Cut from a similar cloth as Tammy Trent or the more upbeat side of Twila Paris, Sharmane sings of basic Christian truths, but is best when applying her pipes to an unexpected cover of Al Green and Annie Lennox's "Put a Little Love in Your Heart."
To be considered for "Indie Spotlight," send an UNWRAPPED CD and press kit to:
Christian Music Today's "Indie Spotlight" C/O
465 Gunderson Drive
Carol Stream, IL 60188
Copyright © 2009 Andree Farias subject to licensing agreement with Christian Music Today. Click for reprint information.
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