Alvarez Kings Debuts New Single, ‘Words I Couldn’t Say’

Courtesy: Warner Records/Sire Records/Earshot Media

Alt-pop rock band Alvarez Kings debuted its latest single this week.

The band debuted its new single ‘Words I Couldn’t Say‘ Thursday.  The song’s musical arrangement is a catchy pop composition that will appeal to fans of Owl City, Maroon 5 and other similar acts.  While the song’s musical arrangement is catchy, its lyrical theme is much heavier.

Front man Simon Thompson talked about the song’s lyrical theme in a recent interview with Popmatters.

“The song came about when I was turning our spare room at home into our baby’s nursery as the acoustics were awesome,” he said.  “I was writing songs off of the back of some pretty extensive touring over the years. There were definitely some issues with alcohol and substance abuse as a result, which impacted heavily on relationships. It’s not necessarily an autobiography or about one person in particular. It’s a story of an uncontrollable collision course of self-destruction from drug and alcohol abuse, the desolation of a failed relationship, and self-blame. ‘Words I Couldn’t Say’ is the burden of the truth and a lie that is too heavy to carry.”

‘Words I Couldn’t Say’ is available to stream and download here.

More information on Alvarez Kings’ new single is available along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:






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Chasing Twisters A Sweet Taste Of What May Be To Come From Delta Rae

Delta Rae Chasing Twisters

Courtesy: Sire Records

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,  Fans can go there or the band’s official website, to check out the list and get the latest news from the band.  Fans can also follow the band via Twitter and MySpace at  and  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Delta Rae added to special Rolling Stone Magazine contest

Courtesy: Warner Brothers Records/Sire Records

Durham, North Carolina’s own Delta Rae released its major label debut, “Carry The Fire” almost a week ago.  And already the band is getting some major coverage.  The band will be performing on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno tonight for starters.  Along with that, the band has also been added to Rolling Stone magazine’s “Women who Rock” campaign.  

The “Women Who Rock” effort will give one lucky up and coming female artist the opportunity to appear on the back cover of Rolling Stone magazine.  It is being held in partnership with Garnier Fructis.  The band has already been comared to rock legends Fleetwood Mac by Rolling Stone.  Fans can vote for Delta Rae to win the contest at  the band will compete against five other artists who were also hand picked by staffers at Rolling Stone. 

In other Delta Rae news, the band will embark on tour this Summer in support of its debut record, “Carry The Fire.”  Its tour will include a trio of stops in North Carolina.  The band will hold a “Hometown Album Release Show” Friday, July 27th at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro.  It will follow up that show with a performance at the Bele Chere Festival in Asheville, NC the next day.  And then on August 23rd, the band will perform at Kelly’s in Nag’s Head.

To get all the latest tour news and more from Delata Rae, go online to, or the band’s Facebook page at, its Twitter page at, and its official Youtube channel at

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Delta Rae shows it can “carry” a tune

Courtesy: Warner Bros. Records/Sire Records

Durham, North Carolina based Delta Rae’s debut album, “Carry The Fire” is a rock solid debut.  The band’s sound–in terms of the general music and the vocalists’ own styles–makes this band one that really stands out among the masses.  It could be argued that when it’s all said and done, Delta Rae’s debut is a darkhorse candidate for one of the year’s best albums.

The band expertly balances pop with blues, bluegrass, gospel and other musical styles without losing listeners throughout any of the album’s twelve songs.  Listeners will have an easy time finding any number of favorites on this record.  Among some of the finest pieces that the band offers are the spiritual-esque ‘Bottom of the River’, ‘Dance in The Graveyeard’, and ‘Fire.’  They are, again just a small portion of the whole that is an impressive debut.

‘Bottom of the River’ is one of the prime examples of what makes “Carry The Fire” such an outstanding work.  Singer Brittany Holljes’ gritty vocals in the song are overwhelming to say the least.  That’s not a bad thing on this song, either.  Little subtleties such as the barely there piano riff and the backing chorus effect really help to add a whole extra level of enjoyment to the song.  She really shows her abilities when she gets to the song’s climax, singing, “Don’t you lift him, let him drown alive\The good Lord speaks like a rolling thunder\Let that fever make the water rise\and let the river run dry.”  It’s one of those moments that will put goosebumps on any music lover’s arms.

Of course, she has another of those moments later in the song, ‘Fire.’  The song itself is obviously about a relationship gone bad.  She sings, “It won’t be pretty\I ain’t no girl cried wolf\I’ll bring the whole **** city\They’ll come from miles around just to see how you cut me down\We used to be friends\but that ain’t true now\You poisoned the well, now I can’t tell who’s on my side.”  That moment builds to a huge climax in which she actually powers out a slight scream, moving into the song’s chorus.  That tiny moment speaks volumes.  It serves to really express the emotion put into writing the song.  Again, it’s one of those moments that will just push audiences back in awe of her vocal abilities.

Brittany Holljes isn’t the only vocalist to show some musical prowess on Delta Rae’s debut.  Brother Ian gets his moments to shine, too.  And on ‘Dancing in he Graveyard’, he really shines, along with the entire band.  Despite what the title may make it seem like, it’s a really celebratory song.  Holljes sings on this song, “When I die, I don’t want to rest in piece\I want to dance in joy\I want to dance in the graveyards, the graveyards\and while I’m alive\I don’t want to be alone\mourning the ones who came before\I want to dance with them some more\let’s dance in the graveyards.”  It comes acros as a song that celebrates life, even when we have lost someone who was close to us. Plain and simple, it’s a beautiful, moving song that’s bound to become just one more of the band’s anthems as it tours the country in support of its debut.

“Carry The Fire” is a solid album from beginning to end.  Its songs run the gamut both in sound and emotion.  It’s one of those works that will give every listener a favorite song, if not many favorite songs.  It’s so impressive that given the right support, it may well be the beginning of something great for this band.

Delra Rae is currently out on tour.  And the band’s North Carolina fans haven’t been left out.  The band will make a stop at the Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, North Carolina Friday, July 27th.  That who is designated a hometown album release show.  It will perform at the Bele Chere Festival in Asheville the next day, and then at Kelly’s in Nags Head on Thursday, August 23rd.  Fans can keep up with any more tour dates and the latest from the band online at, on Facebook at, on Myspace at, on Twitter at, and on its own Youtube channel at

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