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Design By Humans
Published On: Tue, Mar 31st, 2015

[debut]: Postcards From Berlin

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Postcards From Berlin
(debutsounds llc)

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2015 sees the release of [debut]’s first full, song-based album, Postcards From Berlin. This fan-funded Kickstarter project garnered $10,000 and was recorded in the famous Hansa Meistersaal and UFO Sound Studios in the city from where the album takes its name. Sounding very much like Bowie in his Berlin period as well as U2, Depeche Mode and other darker bands, this nine-song collection opens with a tight metallic drum machine smack and single piano hits on “Not the One.” The swirly, low beat verses explode into loud, effective choruses, all featuring Gareth Thomas’ sexy voice.

“Low” sees Thomas rolling an expressive, low and high vocal over strong, dark piano and strings, until big, scary drum hits come in. Not that we lift off too far from what is generally a pretty simply song, but there is a lot of passion here. “Want” fares better with plucky acoustic guitar and those strings once again. It sounds unlike anything else so far that one hears on Postcards (at least at its beginning) and I truly appreciate the big, pulsing beat and the cinematic chant-like quality that unfolds here. “Come Around” features strings sweeping around the strong vocals of Angela Bartys, another contributor to this collective. “Passion” ends the album with more piano, tight drum machine, and a single synth lead opening to Thomas’ self-aware singing.

I do like Thomas’ compositions here and his voice, though I think the tunes slightly suffer from a start-slow,-open-big-as-we-progress-into-the-groove production, which makes things sound too similar throughout.

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Videos

[debut]: Postcards From Berlin