Laura Hillman - Vocals
Amanda Oechsle - Vocals
Nick Mitchell - Guitars/Production
The first release by Endless Blue marks a change in direction for artists Nick Mitchell and Laura Hillman, former members of the electro-rock band STATE4. The guitar driven, hard hitting atmosphere of STATE4 has been left behind, replaced by something a bit more subtle and moody, something in between trip-hop, downtempo, and modern pop.
The mood of the CD swings from track to track, from the dark disharmony of the opening track "September" to the sad surrender of "Down" to the brooding nostalgia of "Taciturn". A common thematic thread ties these varying moods together, creating a feeling of dark romanticism.
The music draws from and combines a wide array of influences, old and new. Downtempo beats pay homage to both the Bristol sound and modern R&B, while the warm, vintage sounding instrumentation conjures images of Air and Moby. Hillman draws from a long line of rock divas combined with modern pop vocalists, giving her a style and timbre similar to Kelli Dayton of the Sneaker Pimps. Newcomer vocalist Amanda Oechsle looks a little farther back, drawing from the "Torch Singers" of the 30's and 40's, and giving her that jazzy edge, especially in her rendition of Sade's "No Ordinary Love".
These two voices intertwine to complement each other perfectly -- one bright and stuccato, the other jazzy and legato. Mitchell's production has become moodier yet more focused to match the vocalist's depth of emotion and expression. All these elements work together to make Endless Blue's debut CD a must have for any downtempo aficionado, and a great CD for any lover of music.