Artist Spotlight

Review: Vinyl Thief, “Fathoms”

No Comments 3 August 2014

Review: Vinyl Thief, “Fathoms”

“Vinyl Thief bears the mark of a band that has breakout written all over it; there is personality to spare, and creativity and talent to match.”

Artist: Vinyl Thief

Album: Fathoms

Genre: Electro Pop

RIYL: Wild Cub, Keane, Fun., The Joy Formidable

Vinyl Thief Fathoms

Vinyl Thief are a quartet of electro-pop rockers that sound like they could be from Britain rather than their homebase of Nashville. What’s immediately apparent upon listening to their debut album, Fathoms, is their keen sense of songcraft and an interest in exploring all facets of electronic pop while never veering too far away from their sense of melody and composition. Often, artists that experiment in this style lose their warmth and charm in favor of a cooler sense of danceability or artifice. Perhaps that’s what makes Vinyl Thief such a curiosity; there is a strong sense of center, and style coexists along with substance in glorious fashion.

As noted above, Vinyl Thief consists of four members: Grayson Proctor (vocals, synth), Logan Purdom (guitar), Sam English (keys), and Andrew Broadway (drums). It’s worth mentioning everyone because they seem to act as one with a synchronicity that’s impressive and rare. One listen to the opening title track gives a pretty clear indication of this band’s high skill level and attention to detail as a unit.  “Smooth” continues the trend, adding more texture and continuing to set up listeners for the introduction of more and more small touches later in the record.

“London” actually makes a solid case for itself standing up right next to radio ready bands of the British pop scene; there’s an effortlessly light quality to it while remaining chock full of smart songwriting choices and an amiable accessibility. “Faces” is another standout track, pulsating with energy and raw-edged vocals that counterbalance another flawlessly executed pop undercurrent. “Middle of the Night” is also a notable achievement on a record that’s full of strengths; there’s just enough quirk, drama, stylized sound and passion to push this into that category that contains that indefinable “it factor.” There’s just something about this track that feels special, and could be a great indicator of what’s to come from them in the future.

“Rebel Hill” is a funky, soulful track that captured my interest and attention on first listen. Proctor’s vocals, in particular, shine brightly; conjuring a remarkable comparison to George Michael or Nate Ruess. In fact, this is a good time to mention Proctor’s vocal range, because he makes every single one of these tracks sound like what he’s doing is commonplace. There is range, and then there is an ability to emote - and Proctor moves smoothly between quiet vulnerability to howling, full-throated tone with ease. This is even more evident on a track like “Stop Motion,” which puts each band member to work and features nice textured vocal work. “Alright” also provides a nice moment for the band, playing with arrangement and ending the record quite literally on a high note.

Vinyl Thief bears the mark of a band that has breakout written all over it; there is personality to spare, and creativity and talent to match. There’s a quietly ambitious quality to the songwriting here. It’s obvious this band is operating within itself right now, but there’s so much more ready to break out from underneath this very polished pop surface. I think that’s what excites and surprises me the most, it’s hearing those little moments within Fathoms that let me know to expect even bigger and better from them on future releases. This is most definitely an artist to watch, but for now just enjoy the listen.

Vinyl Thief website:


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