The Dewars: All A Part of the Show
Guitar, Vocals Anthony Dewar; Bass, Vocals Zachary Dewar; Guitar Jack Edmonson; Keyboard Joachim Polack; Drums Ryan O’Malley
Released / May 2016
Recorded in / St. Augustine
Sounds like / David Bowie, the Proclaimers
Inspiration / Bob Dylan, the British Invaders
Where to get it / Bandcamp, Spotify, Soundcloud
Upcoming shows / TBA
Modern-day folk duo The Dewars’ “All A Part of the Show” is an eleven track LP filled with mystical songs reminiscent of the 1970s. Though the album was released in mid-2015, the project was three years in the making and remains one of the group’s more popular and well-acclaimed albums.
The duo consists of Florida-born twins Zachary and Anthony Dewar. Growing up, artists like Pink Floyd and Willie Nelson were some of the most common listens, but it wasn’t until the twins discovered Bob Dylan and the British Invaders that they were inspired to start making music. The brothers first played for fun with friends and ended up forming various different bands. However, as their friends took separate paths, they decided to officially form The Dewars in 2009.
The Dewars are both multi-instrumentalists, often playing most of the instruments on their recordings. However, when performing live Anthony can mostly be seen playing lead guitar with Zachary primarily on the bass. Both contribute to writing and arranging music on their projects.
“Ideas can clash, but if we allow each other to develop any idea and go with it, the result is always better than restricting that freedom in each other because there is plenty of time to make more songs,” Anthony said.
“All A Part of the Show” is the latest album released by the duo. Songs like“Music in the Money Industry” showcase the lyrical talent that the group is capable of. It pokes fun at artists who make music purely for profit rather than out of passion.
Lyrics like “But until that devil’s fiddle pays the bill for me, it’s music in the money industry” show how powerful and corruptive of a role profit can play for musicians.
The title track from the album is largely biographical, describing a brief history of the band and tying it to the message, everything that happens is just a part of life. The dual-vocals are delivered amid a cheery, yet simplistic arrangement of a guitar and bass, along with light drumming, to close off the album. Even with some of the darker elements of the song, such as losing band members, the track maintains a positive vibe and message that shines through.
One thing that stands out about the group is how they continue to evolve their sound.
“I think the vision is always changing from song to song. I think that our lyrical content is very eclectic and we don’t intentionally write songs to sound like any specific artist or band. That’s not to say that we aren’t inspired by music that we love, but we don’t regurgitate other music in hopes to get quick success. It would be nice to create a new genre and a new style.”
By taking a new direction with every song and every album that they work on, The Dewars give themselves space to experiment with their sound and continue to grow as musicians. They are currently working on a psychedelic LP but will continues to release smaller EPs in between albums. •
By Cameron Rivera
Hail! Cassius Neptune: Where Is That Cat?
Vocals, Bass, Guitar, Ukulele Wilson Stern; Vocals Kylie Jo Stern; Keyboard, Synthesizer Dee Natour; Vocals, Guitar Aaron Pigue
Released / July 2016
Recorded at / Goldentone Studio
Sounds like / Fiona Apple, the Mars Volta, Amy Winehouse
Inspiration / Long improv sessions, cats
Key tracks / Where is that cat; Puked on Stacy; Cool Up, Rise Down
Where to get it / hailcassiusneptune.bandcamp.com
Upcoming shows / Feb. 25 at Heartwood Musical Festival
For Hail! Cassius Neptune, making music is all about the spontaneity of the moment. The band uses their environment and killer musical instincts to craft a jazzy overlay, which they apply to every genre from pop to soul to rock.
The band, originally a trio started by partners Wilson Stern, the bassist, and Kylie Jo Stern, the lead singer, has grown to a six-person ensemble. After Jo and Stern moved back to Florida from North Carolina, the two began jamming with old music friends, and the group fell into place.
“We had grander ideas than we could put on stage with three people,” Stern said.
Hail’s first album, “Where is that Cat?,” is a compilation of two four-track EPs recorded during the first two and a half years of the band’s life. It embodies the primordial stage of the band, Stern said.
The album conveys a dark, mysterious sound and a sense of exploration that’s reflective of the band’s creative process. Many of their tracks were born from extended improv sessions filled with experimentation. They find all of their inspiration from the environment around them, from places to things one wouldn’t expect.
“The band is named after our cat,” Stern said. “His name is Hail! Cassius Neptune, and he’s very affectionate and confident. We look to Hail! for approval.”
The band’s unconventional influences have helped them produce a distinct sound, which can be heard on the track “Puked on Stacey.” The song alternates between pretty jazz, reminiscent of the 1950s, and a heavy metal riff that creates their fused rock-soul sound.
“It sounds like you’re at the prom but then everyone just starts violently vomiting on each other,” Stern said. “I liked the idea of it being something very pretty and nice and put together, and then distorting it.”
The band never lets their creative juices stop flowing. They always make time for jam sessions before and after their practices to keep the energy alive.
“I like our practices to be a work sandwich on jam bread,” Stern said.
With the new year, the band will be releasing a new EP, titled “LEMB.” This time the inspiration is from their dog, Bodie, who makes a noise very similar to the title. It will feature even more of Hail’s experimental sound.
Their aim is to create danceable yet quirky music that grabs people’s attention and makes them want to be involved in it, Stern said.
“We start a party on stage,” he said. •
By Katherine Campione
Alumine: Dwayne Wade Split
Vocals Alumine Soto
Released / October 2016
Recorded on / Garageband on iPhone
Sounds like / The Blow, The Kooks
Inspiration / The Beach Boys, Andrew Jackson Jihad, their friends
Where to get it / aluminesgnv.bandcamp.com
Upcoming shows / TBA in the first quarter of February
Alumine Soto, lead vocalist and founder of Alumine, describes himself as “a religious follower of the greatest Heat Player of All Time, in the present and in any foreseeable future.”
For Soto, Dwyane Wade has been a constant, not just in the Miami Heat, but in his own life spent growing up in South Florida.
Then, news broke that Wade would be leaving Miami.
Soto and Simona Morales, who is featured on the album and is part of the band Insignificant Other, decided to record the album using Soto’s Garageband app and a pair of Apple headphones in just under two hours.
“I felt an immense sadness because Wade had to move on,” said Soto. “I grew up watching games with Wade scoring points after points. It just won’t be the same without him.”
This release was intended to be a light hearted and jubilant, a wistful yet hopeful farewell to the basketball player. Soto and Morales meshed quirky lyricism and hearty drum crescendos to create a witty and whimsical melodic duo. The tracks’ playful lyricism and folk punk hopefulness rings with lyrics such as, “I see your billboard in Miami and I just want you to be happy” and “I know you weren’t trying to abandon me Dwyane Wade.” In a twist of seriousness, the album is nostalgic for a state of constancy that once was.
“This year has brought a lot of changes that have led the band to channel its ultimate creative expression,” Soto said. But, “even though this year led us to feel a sense of hopeful hopelessness, it’s possible to get by without that constant, represented by Dwyane Wade, in our lives.”
Soto hinted at a mastered EP release in the upcoming months. The band has intimated that their new work will be darker and heavier than its previous music, stemming from intersections of their Hispanic and queer heritage.
Through his music, Soto explores his identity as a queer Argentine immigrant in an era that is beginning to celebrate personal triumphs and intersectionalities. Drawing heavily on personal content such as assault and abuse, the upcoming untitled EP will have a bolder, more macabre sound, featuring band members, friends and others affected by interpersonal violence.
In this upcoming year, “Alumine will embark in a new creative direction that explores the personal aspects of the hurt and sadness that my friends and I encountered this year,” Soto said. •
By Mustafa Hammad