If the world could just stop turning so I could take a moment to catch my breath...

Today I am going to review some music for you.  I've been thinking of directions that I could take this blog, and I think that focusing on music would be a really neat thing to do from time to time, in addition to the regular talking about my life type stuff.  I'm just going to tell you about this really great band that I think you should definitely check out.  We'll see if I ever do this reviewish thing again, but for now, here's my first attempt!

If the world could just stop turning
So I could take a moment
To catch my breath
If I could just speak the words my heart has longed to say
I wouldn't be where I am today

I have become a huge fan of Alex Arthur's music over the last few months as he's emerged with this new acoustic project, recently formed of Alex Arthur, Justin Carmichael, Griffin Landa, Joseph Farrell. Last night the group, called The Still Sound, had a release show for their new 7-song self-titled EP.

I'm pretty used to going to shows where three or four local high school and college bands play and open for some other little-known midwest punk band.  I've learned how to live with bad music for the sake of a fun show.  I like to see people I kind of know playing on stage, I like to support the often short-lived musical endeavors of the members of the small opening bands (I was one of them not too long ago) and I like to see what glimmers of talent can sometimes (hopefully) be found in them.  So, when I first heard that Alex Arthur was going to start playing acoustic music, I wasn't too sure what I would experience when I heard it.

The first thing that Ben Wiedenhoeft, my friend and the drummer for Ames ska band Atombender, told me when he mentioned that Alex was going to start writing and performing acoustic songs was that it meant that he (Ben) was going to be crying a lot more often.  I immediately raised my eyebrows and thought to myself, Hmmm, this must be good stuff.  Before I knew it, my email inbox contained a copy of the first Alex Arthur song I'd ever heard (besides the songs from his hardcore band, local favorite Keep and Confess) in raw, unedited form.  Breaker instantly became one of my favorite songs, and within days it had moved to the top 25 or so of my Last.fm most-played songs list.

Months later, The Still Sound was formed, and 6 more similarly fantastic songs were written and recorded with the full band.  It's honest, real, and totally marketable.  Everyone would listen to this music if they had good taste.  Alex's voice is incredible both on stage and in the studio, the instrumentals are well-crafted, and the lyrics are beautiful.  Combined, these things make seven songs that constantly leave you wanting to listen to another.  Breaker has been re-recorded with the band, and although I'm still partial to the original version that Ben sent me some months ago, it's still a beautiful song about the search for happiness after a broken heart.  If I Could is definitely a close second to Breaker as far as my favorites go, which might be because it was the second raw, unedited Alex Arthur song I heard, but it's such an honest song that I can barely listen to it without closing my eyes and singing along.

The rest of the songs are just as awesome, and I encourage all of you to click the link below and buy the EP.  If they ever do a concert and you have the opportunity to go, do it.  And when they are famous, just remember that I reviewed them first.

Mara Tenille

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