Cedars Releases New Music/Single

Cedars’ new material has been lauded by critics as some of the best of its kind to have debuted in the last couple of years, and there is perhaps no specific piece within their recent work that encapsulates its inviting sound as much as their latest single does. “Empire,” the most recent offering from this critically acclaimed set of hard rockers, is a guitar-oriented, driven single that was designed for serious rock fans whilst bearing enough of a polished hook to attract as many mainstream listeners as it does indie disciples. Although it’s one of the more involved listens on the whole of the record it shares a name with, it’s undeniably one of the smartest tracks this group of musicians has penned under the Cedars moniker to date.

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As we find it here, the percussion is as much of a driving force behind the chills in this song as the harmonies generated by the guitar/vocal combo are. Through the sparkling production quality that “Empire” enjoys, we’re able to get all the closer to the most minute of details within the construction of the beat, and beneath a thin layer of reverb there lies a smorgasbord of color that attracts us to the rhythm of this track even more than the actual cadence of the beat does. That’s no easy feat to pull off for any artist, let alone an act that is as influenced by traditional, unfanciful rock music as this one happens to be.

I love how clean and clear this master mix is, and in comparison to most of the rock and pop music that I’ve been reviewing lately, it’s a lot more concise and efficient from top to bottom. There’s nothing clustered together here; contrarily, the surrealism of the sonic backdrop is amplified by the textures in the music and not by some inauthentic studio augmentation. We’re welcomed into the blanket of melodies that the guitars create without ever fearing a bloated bassline’s visceral suffocation, and while the vocal remains the biggest agent of evocation in “Empire,” it never minimizes the impact of the adjacent instrumental harmonies – if anything, it makes them even more tangible to us. A lot of time and hard work went into crafting this, but I think that the rewarding tonality of the track in question was worth the extra effort.

As smart and sharp as ever, Cedars is a must-watch band this July if you’re into the burgeoning alternative underground, and specifically the indie rock movement as it currently stands on the American side of the world. “Empire” is a self-aware, unfiltered piece of rock that has been set to some of the most captivating melodies you’re going to encounter this month, and although it represents the current benchmark for this unit’s output, I doubt it will be the last grand slam that they hit in the years to come. They’ve still got room to grow into this sound even more than they have lately, and under the command and leadership they’ve got now, I see them taking the next couple of years by storm.

Nicole Killian

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Nicole loves to go cross country skiing, swimming, reading and critiquing books, listening and critiquing music, some culinary arts, pottery, spending time with my daughter, cheesy horror films.

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