Alternative / Rock

Sand in the Sun

Artist: The Soles

Produced by: The Soles

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

                Formed in 2001, the band known as The Soles began receiving recognition in 2008 with their release of their debut album You Burst into Fire Again, with its single Sky (In the Name of You) receiving two years of steady play on radio stations across the United States.  They soon began receiving invitations to some rather impressive gigs like the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, the Northwest Folklife Festival in Seattle and the Music for the Masses Festival in Thunder Bay.  They recorded two more EPs, Broken Ghost and Anodos Kathodos, before releasing their latest full length album, Sand in the Sun.

                Featuring artist, performer and songwriter Dean Janolen, AKA: DIN, on lead vocals and guitar, The Soles consists of Adam Gomori on lead guitar and vocals, Trevor Friday on bass and Austin Gembora on drums.  The band often invites guests to perform on their albums and Sand in the Sun is no exception featuring Marc Marilainen on the organ, piano, guitar and backing vocals and Chris Janolen on the harmonica (for the track Echo Bay).  The sound of The Soles is alternative, sometimes folk, but always rock.

                As with previous work by The Soles, Sand in the Sun deals with personal issues and political.  I listened to this album four times before writing this review.  The first time through, I focused on the music, which was amazing.  Were there no vocals, the guitars, piano and some kickass drumming from Austin Gembora, would have been enough to make me incredibly happy.  The second time through, I focused on the lyrics which spoke of love lost, a search for oneself, the pain of depression, suicide, a controversial fighter jet, stepping out of your comfort zone and more.  The lyrics are thought provoking and intelligently written. 

                Once we hit the third time around, I began singing along with the songs - their catchy and easy to learn.  Particular favorites include Who You Really Are, a song about a friend's search for his/herself that seems to bring them full circle; Shadows of June and its metaphorical approach to depression; F35's personification of the controversial jet fighter; Echo Bay, an ode to a location in Canada and Rebel Force Radio, a call to step out of your comfort zone. 

                By the fourth time listening to Sand in the Sun, I knew I had a new favorite alternative album.  The songs are catch and easy to learn, featuring well though out and meaningful lyrics and the music is simply amazing.  Sand in the Sun is the perfect full length follow up to The Soles' past projects and one that I plan to enjoy more and more with each time I listen to it.  Definitely worth some serious play time on mainstream radio!

Buy Sand in the Sun at The Soles Music Group Band Website


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