Photo Credit: Daniel Mendoza
The Aces are an all female alternative pop group from Utah busting into the scene with their debut album, When My Heart Felt Volcanic. This 47-minute selection features funky rhythm guitar, tight vocal harmonies and loads of reverb.
The first track on the album, “Volcanic Love” really sets the tone of the rest of the proceeding songs. When the song starts, the listener is greeted first with a distant string timbre and then with a guitar sound reminiscent of a dream pop track. When the beat comes in many other instruments enter, including bass and synth. The beat is very catchy and the dynamic contrast when the vocals enter is very well executed. The lyrical content of this song is fairly generic in comparing love to elements of flames, fire, heat, etc. The track would have benefitted from some more interesting lyrics as the rest of the aspects of the track are very well executed.
A track that is very similar to a late 80s Wham! song is the piece entitled “Stay”. This song starts out with a very typical guitar, bass and drum rhythm that was very common in pop rock during the 80’s. The melody is very memorable and there is good spacing of vocals and great use of silence and buildup sections throughout the track. Dynamics are definitely a strong suit of this new quartet!
“Bad Love” is the 10th track on the album and is an exceptional one. The track starts out pretty stripped down with a two part vocal harmony and then a funk rhythm guitar. The chorus of this one has a very nice beat with some fantastic drum and bass chemistry. There is a breakdown section where the bass player varies her line that sounds really incredible as well towards the end of the track. This was a very fun song to listen to.
The third track on When My Heart Felt Volcanic is by far my favorite. Entitled ‘Fake Nice”, all of the aspects of the tune are very well executed. There is a great bass and rhythm guitar dynamic, a respectable tempo, tasteful beat and catchy melody. The harmony from the background vocals are definitely a personal highlight of mine. A propelling aspect of the tune lies in the variation of guitar playing. Throughout the piece there are essentially three different rhythm guitar motifs: a shorter staccato rhythm, long and sustained lead lines and a guitar melody that meets somewhere in the middle of the other two. This gives the backing track some good variation and interest.
Overall, this is the best pop album that has been released in a long time. Every single track had its own awesome elements and the group meshed extremely well throughout. The vibe is definitely like funk and modern pop had a lovechild and the listener will enjoy every minute of it. Also, the album was mixed incredibly well. Shout out to the mastering team and all of the talented engineers on this fantastic record! All in all, check out When My Heart Felt Volcanic because you won’t be disappointed.