Tread Lightly

The Deli Readers' Kansas City Artists of 2012: #3 - We Are Voices

(Photo by Sandy Rushing)

Rounding out The Deli readers’ top 3 is We Are Voices, an atmospheric indie rock quartet whose songwriting continues to grow with each release. The band’s debut release, What Makes Us So Alive?, peaked the interest of indie lovers across the area, while its second album Fighting Fires established its reputation as a polished Kansas City mainstay. Its anticipated third album Tread Lightly (here's our review),  which was released last month, garnered rave reviews inside and outside of Kansas City. The group includes Lucas Larson, Eric Baldwin, Joshua Greenlee, and Carson Land.
Today it was announced that We Are Voices will be among over 40 KC-area bands featured at MidCoast Takeover at SXSW this year. This will be the band’s third showcase at MidCoast.
Note: We Are Voices placed second in the Open Submissions poll for emerging Kansas City band.
This Saturday, January 26, We Are Voices is playing at the Jackpot with Grenadina and Forrester.

Album review: We Are Voices - Tread Lightly

One day, We Are Voices will consistently fill rooms. Now to be clear, we are not currently talking about the recordBar, Riot Room or even Beaumont Club numbers anymore. No, this band is destined to sell tickets. If there is a single thing that can be taken away from a spin of Tread Lightly, their new full-length, it is that they were born to pack arenas. With an atmospheric aura and energetic approach to songwriting, their achieving anything else would be a disappointment.

Yeah, I said it.
Take “The Sun,” the album’s opening track, for example. With elements of soft, touching vocals placed flawlessly over an epic swell of musical peaks and valleys, the band displays a rather educated understanding of the proper use of sound. The solos and guitar work on the track are spot on and brilliantly designed, creating an environment worth every second of time and every cent spent in purchasing the cut. You’re five minutes into a disk and you’ve already recouped your expenses. Take a note kids, that’s just good economics.
The band doesn’t stop there. Track for track, the album shines. It easily could find itself highlighted as a sleeper on countless end-of-the-year lists, both locally and on a national circuit. Make no mistake; Tread Lightly has chops.
Whether it is the straightforward elements of songs like “Fighting Fires,” the alt-country influences of “Love Will Follow,” or the catchy and tricky technology-based hooks of “Difference,” the album possesses an addictive additive that will leave you not only with cravings, but diabetes. There is something buried in the mix for everyone. “End is Coming” somehow reminds me of both Bush and martinis at a jazz bar at the same time. Other tracks could easily be marketed to fans of Manchester Orchestra, Explosions in the Sky, and Mae. The album makes moves faster than a cougar on a first date. With mass appeal and the ability to transcend genre lines, Tread Lightly should have no issue finding its way into the hands of the right people.
In my humble opinion, the key track on this beautiful album is “’54-’55.” Sparkling with computerized noise blended with haunting and heart-shattering vocals over simple guitar and chimes highlights an element of songwriting often associated with an international element of the industry. Though the lyrics and music cut out about halfway through the track before shifting and sputtering into electronic noise for the better portion of two minutes, the song manages to mirror elements of song composition that the likes of Sigur Ros or Radiohead might attempt. If I do say so myself, that’s pretty good company to be associated with.
But you don’t have to take my word for it—the mixes speak for themselves. If you can spin this album once and tell me it hasn’t moved you, I’ll buy you a beer at the next show we attend. I believe that strongly in this release.
You should too, Kansas City. It has the potential to put your beautiful music scene back on the map, Vagrant Records style.
We Are Voices is The Deli KC’s December artist of the month! The band includes:
Lucas Larson – vocals, guitar, piano
Eric Baldwin – bass, vocals, piano
Joshua Greenlee – drums, percussion
Carson Land – guitars, vocals, synth, aux


--Joshua Hammond

After stints drumming for both The Afternoons and Jenny Carr and the Waiting List in the Lawrence/Kansas City music scene, Joshua Hammond found his footing as a music journalist, launching the national publication Popwreckoning. After running the show as Editor in Chief for 6 years, Hammond stepped away from the reigns to freelance for other publications like Under The Gun Review and High Voltage Magazine. This shift allowed the adequate amount of time for him to write passionately, allow the Kansas City Royals to break his heart on a daily basis and spoon his cats just enough that they don't shred his vinyl. 

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