Album Reviews

Edison

Familiar Spirit

Artist:     Edison

Album:     Familiar Spirit

Label:     Rhyme & Reason Records

Release Date:     9/16/2016

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When alt-folk trio Edison embarked on a two year tour across the country, they were just beginning but they were far from beginners. Combining the efforts of singer/guitarist Sarah, multi-instrumentalist Dustin, and Grammy-nominated guitarist Maxwell Hughes (formerly of The Lumineers), Denver-based band Edison pooled their talents and dove headfirst into the art of creating and connecting. With just a few releases and little money, the trio dedicated two years to fostering relationships with music-loving strangers, making friends and fans for life. Their ambitious approach to sharing their music rewarded them with a record deal with Rhyme & Reason Records, which put out Edison’s debut album, Familiar Spirit, this September.

The record is short and sweet, nine quick tracks varying from heavy, brooding rock like on “San Jose” to softer, sparing arrangements like final track “Tie Me Down”. Opening track “The Good Fight” seems to be an equal mix of both those sounds — though it opens with an eerie, echoing harmony, it eventually explodes into alt-rock infused beats on a bed of distinct vocals. In the opposite side of the ring stands “Civil War”, which blinks and throbs with shy plucks before revealing Sarah’s impassioned vocals that wail the powerful refrain, “My head and my heart are raging a civil war”. The middle of Familiar Spirit boasts a sweet sing-along, “Open Road”, its best track. It is truly an anthem for the open road, a love story to traveling. Aside from its catchy hook and radio potential, “Open Road” drips with Edison’s spirit and the passion and courage the band employed to build themselves from the ground up. To switch things up a bit and prove they can tackle any sound, Edison shows off their rounded, complex arrangements on “Idea 5”, a beautifully spiraling instrumental track. Later, Edison ends with “Tie Me Down”, a hushed ballad showcasing Sarah’s subdued vocals and an unadorned guitar base that builds up at the end only to fade out with her softening voice.

On Edison’s debut album, Familiar Spirit, the trio gently offers themselves to listeners in the form of gutsy vocal delivery, instrumental arrangements at times intricate and at times effortless, and thoughtful lyrics. Edison may have gone out on the road to make a name for themselves but they just proved that their music speaks for itself.

–Savannah Davanzo

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