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The Underground: The Rising Souls – Slow Blue

Welcome to The Underground (or Notes from the Underground if you’re a Dostoyevsky nerd), a weekly segment in which I examine the very best in unsigned, undiscovered and underground music. It’s my goal to highlight and hopefully promote talented artists who have yet to receive the attention they deserve. If you know (or are!) a band or artist you think should be featured on The Underground, please give them a shout out in the comments section below, or alternatively you can tweet me their info @AnOrangeFellow.

Slow Blue by The Rising Souls is a David Gray produced record with a sound that instantly strikes you as old soul. Piano and guitar blues played earnestly and infectiously. I think you’ll know whether or not you’re the kind of person who’ll be into Slow Blue. And if you’re not that kind of person, I’d like to ask you to check out some of the other features on our fine site because, quite frankly, I want nothing to do with you.

Slow Blue wastes no time getting into it deep. “Change You,” the opening track, immediately drops you into cool guitar, terrific vocals and a rolling, hummable melody. It’s a great album-opener and is indicative of the future high points on the album. The second track, “Evil Man,” is introduced by some of the only harmonica on the album, which is really a shame as it’s pretty damned good and works brilliantly in tandem with the piano. The album also has a pretty good flow to it; each song moves smoothly into the next despite the varying styles on display in Slow Blue.

What’s interesting about Slow Blue is how the tracks somehow seem to span multiple iterations of blues while still all staying in a particular tone that keeps the album cohesive. Sound is sound though, and even if all songs sound like they belong, the direction they lean can really affect their appeal. For instance, “Bad Trip” is a bit too 80s for my liking (always my least favorite decade for blues), and the piano becomes a bit more sparse as the album progresses (barring the final song on the album, “Stand Beside Me,” which actually uses little else). The result is an album which explodes with a flurry of stylish, catchy tracks that seem to slow down until Slow Blue finishes. As much as I do enjoy Slow Blue, I think most would agree the albums strongest, ear-wormer tracks are towards its beginning.

Still, despite the issues I found with pacing, if you’re a fan of blues or soul Slow Blue is still well worth the listen.

Listen to and purchase Slow Blue here.

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