Delta Rae has been quite busy since the release of its full length debut record, Carry The Fire. The Durham, North Carolina based band has toured the country and made countless TV and radio appearances along the way. All the while, the band’s fans have waited with baited breath for its next new release. Those that have followed the band even before it signed on with Warner Brothers Records have been rewarded with a new EP titled Chasing Twisters. The band’s new digital-only release is a very strong statement of the band. If it is a statement of what’s to come from Delta Rae, then audiences have plenty to look forward to whenever the band releases its sophomore album.
Chasing Twisters opens with the EP’s up-tempo title track. The song is led by drummer Mike McKee’s driving four-on-the-floor rhythm. It partners with singer Brittany Holljes’ vocals to make the song come across as being more pop influenced than the songs on the band’s debut. At the same time, it still maintains a certain vibe established by the band on its debut record. This blending of the old and new makes the song even more enjoyable. What makes this song especially interesting is that among some listeners, it will conjure thoughts of the theme from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. What sets the two apart though, is that ‘Chasing Twisters’ is that ‘Chasing Twisters’ is not a western. The emotion in Holljes’ voice crescendos as she sings, “So kiss/me now/This whiskey on my breath/Feel the lies/That I have taken/What little soul that I have left/And oh/My God/I’ll take you to the grave/The only love I’ve ever known/The only soul I ever saved.” It adds so much to the song’s overall impact. This is especially the case when she reaches the peak of that emotion, only to pull back and crescendo again in the next verse before the song eventually reaches its end. It would be a surprise if this song isn’t an instant fan favorite by those final fading moments of this track.
Chasing Twisters’ lead track was most definitely the right choice to open the EP. Just as enjoyable is the EP’s second track, ‘Run.’ This song is such an interesting addition to the release first and foremost because it’s one more example of the band’s growth. It boasts something of a 1980s vibe with its keyboards. What’s ironic about this is that even those that aren’t fans of 80s music will appreciate this song. Maybe that’s because it doesn’t go all out with that seeming 80s influence. It could also be because of the song’s energy. Again, drummer Mike McKee serves largely as the song’s driving force alongside the equally driving keyboard part. Holljes gets to exhibit her vocals even more this time, too. And she takes full advantage of that. The song comes in at barely more than three minutes in length. Over that short time, her vocals soar as she sings, “I wanna run/To feel again/To be no one/To lay/Under the stars of Orion/And all my life/I’ve been burdened by the dreams/I’ll hide/Now I want to run.” She shows yet again why she is one of the best female pop vocalists in the industry today, even if the big names don’t recognize that. Those amazing vocals coupled with the work of her equally talented band mates make this one more wise addition to this new EP.
‘Chasing Twisters’ and ‘Run’ aren’t the only new material included on Delta Rae’s new EP. The closing number, ‘I will Never Die’ is just as impressive. This song throws back to the band’s debut, stylistically speaking. It bears a sound and style very similar to that of ‘Bottom of the River’ yet it somehow manages to maintain its own identity. The song develops a certain eeriness to the song thanks to the song’s slower bass drum beat set against Holljes singing, “You can bury my body/But I’ll never die.” It’s but one part of what makes this song as a whole one of the EPs best songs. Together with the acoustic takes on ‘Dance in the Graveyards’ and ‘If I Loved You’, it is the finishing touch to an EP that sets the bar pretty high for this Durham, NC based band for its second album. If this EP is any indication though, the band will more than likely live up to those expectations. The band is currently touring in support of its new EP and its debut album. It will be at Bimbo’s 365 Club in San Francisco, CA this Thursday. That performance is followed up next Tuesday, December 10th at Mechanics Hall in Worchester, MA. The band will take a short break after that show in order to recharge its batteries and get ready to hit the road again in 2014. An extensive list of the band’s 2014 dates is already listed on the band’s Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/deltarea. Fans can go there or the band’s official website, http://www.deltarae.com to check out the list and get the latest news from the band. Fans can also follow the band via Twitter and MySpace at http://twitter.com/deltrae and http://www.myspace.com/deltaraemusic. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.