Album review: 'Volume One' by Blue Heaven
By Alanna Hadley
Today, I want to introduce all of our readers to an on-the-rise indie-pop band from Maryland. Based out of Frederick, MD, the 4-piece band named Blue Heaven is made up of Conner Bowen (bass), Matt Full (drums), Ryan Sprenkle (guitar), and Levi Miller (vocals & guitar). The name is perfect for the band’s enchanting & hypnotic album. But, sometimes it felt like I was actually under hypnosis, as some songs made me want to close my eyes and go to sleep.
Starting from the beginning of their album, Volume One, ‘’Goodthings’’ made me feel like I was in a literal blue heaven! It opens with a teen romance movie feeling, but then the vocals come in and fuck everything up. With the immense lack of diction, it gives Levi’s voice a drawl like feel, and all I can think is that it sounds like country. With a dreamy, Troye Sivan-like introduction, I expected very light, gentle vocals, and that is not what I got. It’s not necessarily bad, but I personally don’t think the vocals fit the track.
The next track didn’t need to grow on me because as soon as it started it, I feel in love. The song titled ‘’Growing’’ had a deep, meaningful, and relatable message. The flawless combination of all the instruments made me feel electric, and I couldn’t help but air drum. During the bridge, they decided to slow down the tempo, and I hoped they would end the song with that slower tempo. However, towards the end of the song, it speeds back up. The bold drums and the strong guitar make for an absolutely gorgeous mesh. It’s easily one of my favorite songs on the album!
This band has the power to make me go from, “I love this song!” to “I don’t hate it…” The song, ‘’Affection’’ really gave me a new perspective of the band; they call themselves indie-pop because the vocalist has an indie-style voice, and everything else about them is pop. That isn’t necessarily a terrible thing when thinking about each aspect of the song separately, but their listeners are going to sit there and dissect their songs. It just.. doesn’t mesh.
The song “Shade” makes for really good background music, and I’m not saying that in a shady way. ‘’Shade’’ is a feel-good song, with a vibrant musical ensemble and a very powerful message. Although the message behind this song is gorgeous, it has somewhat dull vocals. Being as though the vocalist has no variation in his voice, it makes the entire song seem dry.
The next song on the album is “Patience. It makes you feel as if you are back in the year is 2012. This song is playing in the background, and you’re sitting in your backyard. Your fence is covered in fairy lights and DIY décor you found on Pinterest and made yourself. This song is so strange! It changes tempo like five times, and you can barely get used to one tempo before it changes and sounds like you’re listening to an entirely differently song. Call me the diction police, but the lack of diction is a tremendous turn off. My favorite part of this track was the end.
I was going to write about these next few songs then I fell asleep… Sorry. BUT! Their song ‘’Anymore’’ woke me right up! It had a very loud and awesome introduction. I don’t know what it is, but the vocalist irritates the heck out of me. His fake, over-drawled vocals make me want to stab knives in my ears… Sorry? However, the instruments sound absolutely gorgeous!
The next song is named ‘’Lullaby’’ and I know why! Although the instruments do the opposite, the vocalist is literally putting me to sleep. This is most likely my least favorite song on the album and - of course - at 4 minutes and twenty-two seconds, it had to be the longest. It speeds up towards the end, but that doesn’t make it better.
The final song on this is named ‘’What’s Worse’’. This was a really great conclusion to the album. It was deep and meaningful, similar to other tracks on the album. But, nothing in this strikes me as super cool!
This band isn’t bad. Just bland. Maybe it’s just me, but nothing makes them special. They’re your typical “wannabe (but can’t be) rock stars” indie-pop band. And I have never heard a more country sounding non-country singer. But you can tell they put a lot of effort into the messages in each song! They didn’t just get drunk and sit around writing twelve 3-minute songs filled with nothingness. And like I said with every band I review, they have potential and you can hear it! If you want to hear it for yourself, you can hear Blue Heaven’s new album Volume One in it entirety when it releases, June 15th!
This band is going to go somewhere! I can see it! All they need is a new vocalist. KIDDING! kinda…