I’m not the type of person who discovers new music from watching any of the MTV channels, but MTV-U is to blame for introducing me to the haunting melodies of the pop band Eisley. Last spring, Eisley had two EPs and a single that looped continuously on MTV- U. After I first heard the song “Marvelous Things,” I researched Eisley and was disappointed to find they had not yet cut a full album. Perhaps this was because their parents didn’t want them to grow up so fast.
That’s right, Eisley is a family band, and a young one. Siblings and band members guitarist Chauntelle, guitarist/vocalist Sherri, drummer Weston and keyboardist/vocalist Stacy DuPree were home schooled in Tyler, Texas under the musical influence of their parents. Inspired by Radiohead, the older siblings began playing music together when the oldest, Chauntelle, was only 14 years old. Later, neighbor and family friend Jonathan Wilson joined in on bass.
My wait, however, ended when Eisley released “Room Noises” in early February. The album provides a vacation from the Lindsay Lohan and 50 Cent protgs of the music industry.
Eisley has a unique sound that is clearly influenced by Pink Floyd and Radiohead, amongst others. By incorporating different keyboard sounds, Eisley provides the backbone for a pleasant listening experience. Sherri and Chauntelle’s airy yet strong voices waft over the indie-pop instrumental blends. Eisley’s songs have a tendency to float through my mind for hours after last listening to the CD thanks to Sherri’s wispy voice lingering on each track.
The album opens with “Memories,” a song rerecorded from their last EP, “Marvelous Things.” Sherri’s voice is much stronger on the newer version. “Memories” is one of four previously recorded songs on the CD.
The catchiest song on the CD is “Golly Sandra,” composed of swooning vocals set against a mutated surf melody. The background vocals complement the lead beautifully. This upbeat song does a good job of sending rays of optimism to the listener.
Following “Golly Sandra” is the Eisley song that first caught my attention, “Marvelous Things.” The chorus hooked me like an old lullaby. The lyrics actually scream “lullaby” – “Dark night, hold tight and sleep tight my baby.” I think, for a time, the escalating and decreasing “ahhs” had the power to clear my mind of anything that was troubling it.
Speaking of infectious choruses, the next track, “Brightly Wound,” employs overlapping vocals to create confusion before bursting into a clear chorus.
While the CD resonates calming vibes throughout, there are a few tracks that shine in being able to make me melt. Parts of “Lost at Sea” are absolutely lovely. Once again, the combination of the two sisters’ voices creates a perfect blend on “One Day I Slowly Floated Away.”
I haven’t grown sick of the album, because every time I listen to it, I pick up on a new vocal or instrumental that I hadn’t noticed before. Eisley definitely has a matchless sound, but it may not be for everyone.
Rock and alternative fans looking for something fresh in the world of music should give Eisley’s debut album a try. By listening to the CD once, I’m sure you’ll recognize this young group as one continuing to find their own sound and one to watch in the future.
Borchardt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.