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Album review: My Brothers & Sisters - Violet Music: Volume I

Album review: My Brothers & Sisters - Violet Music: Volume I

My Brothers & Sisters is the brainchild and passion project of Jamie Searle. Since deciding to leave his former band—It’s Over—to increase his knowledge of music, Jamie has been studying and working to compose, perform, and record Violet Music: Volume I.

My Brother & Sisters is a large band reminiscent of the soul revues of the 1960s. Weighing in at a staggering 15 members, the band presses right into the listener with a force embodying Phil Spector’s wall of sound. Violet Music: Vol I lifts off with “Fall Winter Spring & Summer.” Insistent horns and punching guitar pull the listener in immediately. Try not to move. I dare you. Pay no mind to the lyrics seriously challenging you to follow your passion; you will dance whether you mean to or not.
From the frenetic pace of the opening track, the sparer “If Once”opens with just Searle’s voice. Soon the band joins in and fills out the song that focuses on a person’s search to balance priorities in life. “How to Move, What to Wear” departs from the established mood, floating in sultry and straightforward. It has a very Sade “By Your Side” vibe.
Keening strings welcome persistent percussion as Searle’s voice takes on an almost Jack White sensibility in “In My Sights.” “I’ll Be Leaving with You,” with its delicate string arrangement, beckons you to listen as Searle’s voice—subdued and intimate—like he’s singing to you alone in a crowded room trying to convince you to take him home. The smooth edges of “You Should Have Known” slide in and out of focus. Searle offers a cautionary tale poured in the calmest of voices served up with an I-told-you-so chaser. “Pillow Bella” has a Bollywood feel with the harmonies and pulsating rhythm of a Technicolor dance number. “The Devil & I” is that track you want to play when you get in the car after a long day—complex and mellow. I can see you now, windows down, singing along, “try to relax.”
My Brothers & Sisters sends us on our way with “In You I Find.”Sparing, compared to the rest of the album, this track seems lonely, like it is sitting on a fire escape in the rain, a love song fighting with the notion of all that has happened to the lovers before. This is a get-up-and-move record. Whether it is a slow dance or something to shake to depends onto which track you drop the needle.

My Brothers & Sisters are releasing Violet Music: Volume I tomorrow night, April 12, at The Mission Theatre. The show is all ages and features DJ Joc Max. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Facebook event page. Also, 10% of the proceeds from Violet Music will be graciously donated to Midwest Music Foundation.
--Angela Lupton
Angela is Executive Director of Midwest Music Foundation.


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