Ah, Victoria. A beautiful city, complete with peacocks at Beacon Hill Park, and a violinist busker dressed as Darth Vader playing in and around the port. As you probably have guessed, Rebecca Everett is from that city, and, though relocating to Toronto, she has created an EP, Seven Shades, that sounds born from those misty late-fall days common to Vancouver Island.
It starts with the namesake, “Seven Shades.” A multi-tonal, wind-like sound gives way the first downbeat hit by the band, with an overall feel that sways sneakily, like a secret agent making her way through a packed five-star hotel’s lounge. A silky voice exhales lust for a person of interest as the bass and drums carry the song. The guitar adds a nice, spaghetti western feel thanks to that lovely tremolo effect and a little grit. There’s also a Hammond organ to be heard, though its presence mainly adds subtle touches to this captivating first track. A buildup ramps up the energy for the chorus, ending with Rebecca reaching the high notes as feels are delivered. Tight vocal harmonies thicken the voice before a descending chord pattern takes over for the bridge. Expertly produced, this song sounds ready for a big screen. If Portishead had been commissioned to supply the soundtrack to the new James Bond movie, it would sound like this.
“Sting Of A Kiss” begins with music that sounds like the intro of a Tarantino movie, with an electric guitar and vocal pairing that pull me into the track. What a voice! Shivering at times with dread, telling the tale of a poison spreading through the singer from a kiss. Feels! Feels, feels, feels! When the drums slam into action, they sound big. The production team was definitely aiming for that stadium sound, and here, it works. Rebecca’s voice can go from a fragile whisper to a powerful scream. The result? More feels! It’s followed by “Tied Up In A Bow,” a song that displays the synchronicity between bassist, Tyler Quint, and drummer, Paul Braunstein. Again, these two supply the backbone of the song, while the guitarist and keyboard player embellish the track with subtle sounds that add width and dynamics to the music. There are also some male harmony vocals present on this song which complement Rebecca’s voice wonderfully.
“Mean Old Man” tells the tale of bitterness, while the band hammers away marching forwards. A chorus approaching pop territory then takes over with its catchy hook, spicing up this song with upbeat energy. Also, guitarist, James Robertson, brings forth delightful textures from his guitar for a brief solo thanks to a shoe-gazing haze of effects. Rebecca replies in turn with a solo of her own, holding the last two notes like they could save her from a ninety-foot drop. Seven Shades ends with the most danceable track, titled “Everything.” An effected guitar opens the song, followed by tom-heavy percussion, echo-rich vocals, and the ever solid bass lines that slowly rise in intensity before stopping for two beats and coming back with a swinging vengeance. Dramatic stabs halt the music near the end of the song, while keyboardist, Neil Quin, sweeps the LFOs, creating a crescendo in the dynamics while adding a space rock dimension to the music. This is followed by a glorious guitar solo and a return to the chorus, finishing with Rebecca’s smoky, hair-raising voice and a last stab from the band.