Via Audio Say Something

[SideCho; 2007]

Styles: indie rock, indie pop
Others: Rainer Maria, Rilo Kiley, Blake Babies

Although a debut full-length, Say Something comes across as a collection of songs from a group of self-assured musicians extremely comfortable with what they’re doing. From Boston by way of Brooklyn, Via Audio's confidence may result from their experiences as students at the Berklee School of Music. It may also be bolstered by having impressed Spoon’s Jim Eno so much that he was sitting in the booth on production duties. Thankfully, their songwriting skills match their confident performances and professional connections, making the album an absolute treat for indie pop fans.

Skewing toward upbeat and quirky, the album features a boy/girl vocal trade-off reminiscent of Rainer Maria and Mates of State. Jessica Martins’ singing is sweet without ever being cloying in the least. Danny Molad’s and Tom Deis’ voices offer relatively smooth, lower-register complements to hers, and the interplay is magic on songs like "Developing Active People," "We Can Be Good," and "Presents." The tracks featuring her solo vocal performances, such as "Harder on Me" and "Enunciation," shine brightly as well, and though they seem to pale a bit when compared with the multi-vocalist tracks, they are a nice counterpoint.

But when the music slows and the instrumentation strips down, particularly on "Collaboration" and "I Can’t Focus," Via Audio mildly stumble. They're decent songs, but they don’t really fit well with the surrounding tracks. With both songs coming toward the end of the album, it leaves me with a let-down feeling, but one that's quickly relieved after skipping back to "Developing Active People" or "Modern Day Saint." Although it may be slightly front-loaded, Say Something offers much for potential fans to savor while still leaving us salivating for the next installment.

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