we are voices
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we are voices

Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Band Rock Indie

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"If there is a single thing that can be taken away from a spin of Tread Lightly, their new full-length, it is that they were born to pack arenas. Track for track, the album shines. It easily could find itself highlighted as a sleeper on countless end-of-th"

One day, We Are Voices will consistently fill rooms. Now to be clear, we are not currently talking about the recordBar, Riot Room or even Beaumont Club numbers anymore. No, this band is destined to sell tickets. If there is a single thing that can be taken away from a spin of Tread Lightly, their new full-length, it is that they were born to pack arenas. With an atmospheric aura and energetic approach to songwriting, their achieving anything else would be a disappointment.

Yeah, I said it.

Take “The Sun,” the album’s opening track, for example. With elements of soft, touching vocals placed flawlessly over an epic swell of musical peaks and valleys, the band displays a rather educated understanding of the proper use of sound. The solos and guitar work on the track are spot on and brilliantly designed, creating an environment worth every second of time and every cent spent in purchasing the cut. You’re five minutes into a disk and you’ve already recouped your expenses. Take a note kids, that’s just good economics.

The band doesn’t stop there. Track for track, the album shines. It easily could find itself highlighted as a sleeper on countless end-of-the-year lists, both locally and on a national circuit. Make no mistake; Tread Lightly has chops.

Whether it is the straightforward elements of songs like “Fighting Fires,” the alt-country influences of “Love Will Follow,” or the catchy and tricky technology-based hooks of “Difference,” the album possesses an addictive additive that will leave you not only with cravings, but diabetes. There is something buried in the mix for everyone. “End is Coming” somehow reminds me of both Bush and martinis at a jazz bar at the same time. Other tracks could easily be marketed to fans of Manchester Orchestra, Explosions in the Sky, and Mae. The album makes moves faster than a cougar on a first date. With mass appeal and the ability to transcend genre lines, Tread Lightly should have no issue finding its way into the hands of the right people.

In my humble opinion, the key track on this beautiful album is “’54-’55.” Sparkling with computerized noise blended with haunting and heart-shattering vocals over simple guitar and chimes highlights an element of songwriting often associated with an international element of the industry. Though the lyrics and music cut out about halfway through the track before shifting and sputtering into electronic noise for the better portion of two minutes, the song manages to mirror elements of song composition that the likes of Sigur Ros or Radiohead might attempt. If I do say so myself, that’s pretty good company to be associated with.
But you don’t have to take my word for it—the mixes speak for themselves. If you can spin this album once and tell me it hasn’t moved you, I’ll buy you a beer at the next show we attend. I believe that strongly in this release.

You should too, Kansas City. It has the potential to put your beautiful music scene back on the map, Vagrant Records style. - The DELI Magazine


"As far as Indie, Rock, and Alternative, I’d dare to say this is one of the best albums released this year."

I’m going to start by saying that once you really listen to these guys, there’s something there for sure: They are more than just simple voices. They are awesome, they are fun, they are catchy… and that’s just the first song.

Tread Lightly by Kansas City’s We Are Voices is something like Coldplay and Explosion in the Sky had a baby, who, like so many children, made it to be better than his parent. I’m serious. It is light and easy to listen to yet explosive and powerful, and it even has the force to throw you out of your seat.

“The Sun” immediately reminds us in some degree of Underoath’s song “Too Bright To See, Too Loud To Hear,” except without all the screaming at the end. The guitars manage to impress without making our ears bleed, drumbeats and bass lines sustain the song pretty well and oh, those vocals! It will captivate more than one for sure. “Fighting Fires” follows pretty much the same road.

“Difference” is more relaxing, with drums, bass, rhythm guitars and the beautiful, almost sober, vocals by Lucas Larson. That is, of course, until we get near the end of the track where you can expect something more powerful, for only a few seconds though. A perfect song to just sit there and be delighted. Something similar happens with “The Design.”

On the other hand, “Go On,” “54 +55,” and “Love Will Follow” are already something quite different. There is no drums or bass. Just a guitar and more an echo than vocals.

“Do not Be Afraid” is one of the most cheerful songs on the album, more “pop” than the others.

And finally we find “Blood and Water,” a piano tune where Lucas bring us something simple, kind of sad, but yet entertaining. There’s also a little bit of Coldplay in it.

In conclusion, there is nothing to say except that these guys know how to rock. It’s that type of record that your neighbour might not complain about if you play it loud with big speakers in your car – of course, it depends on your neighbor, so if you want to give it a try, you’re doing it under your own risk. As far as Indie, Rock, and Alternative, I’d dare to say this is one of the best albums released this year.

Rating: 5/5 - Vents Magazine


"Hailing from Kasas City, it’s a bit shocking to see that We Are Voices are still fully independent. Tread Lightly is top-notch and refined in its production, and its appeal so broad yet substantial, that the band becoming a household name seems only a mat"

We Are Voices have an incredible knack for crafting anthemic, melodic, and intelligent indie rock songs. On Tread Lightly, the band bounces from emotional, mellow, and layered (really showcasing singer Lucas Larson’s outstanding pipes) to driving, powerful, and moving indie romps. Hailing from Kasas City, it’s a bit shocking to see that We Are Voices are still fully independent. Tread Lightly is top-notch and refined in its production, and its appeal so broad yet substantial, that the band becoming a household name seems only a matter of time. This record is the perfect balance of artistry and accessibility, and I wholeheartedly recommend it! Check out the tastefully constructed, hypnotic, dynamic, and fantastically catchy jam “End“ and stream the entire album on Spotify. - No Country For New Nashville


"The result is “Tread Lightly,” an hour of indie rock that recalls the finer moments of Coldplay and U2."

It didn’t take fans long to decide they wanted more from We Are Voices. When the band opened a Kickstarter drive to raise the $5,000 to record its second album it took just five weeks to reach that goal. Even more impressive, nearly all of the money came in $10 to $50 donations, meaning there was no sugar daddy bankrolling this project.

The result is “Tread Lightly,” an hour of indie rock that recalls the finer moments of Coldplay and U2. A dozen snapshots capture moments of loss and frailty, uncertainty, assurance and love.

“Fine” is a solid choice as lead single. The ballad shows off the group’s penchant for carefully constructing spectral, comforting soundscapes that slowly build to a climax of drums and guitar. “End Is Coming” works in a different vein, relying on a throbbing baseline before pretending to change course on the coda. For a moment, despite all evidence to the contrary, it seems like disaster may be averted — then the ominous baseline returns.

Producer Aaron Crawford, who worked with the Kansas City quartet for their first album, 2010’s “What Makes Us So Alive,” also is behind the boards for “Tread Lightly.” The band bet on themselves by writing and rehearsing as much of the album as possible before opening the Kickstarter campaign. Recorded in Eudora, Kan., and Parkville, Mo., the album should translate very easily to the stage and have no problem filling a club.

“Tread Lightly” is almost too light during the back half. The sequencing of ballads makes for a dreamy listen that could use another straight-up rocker to bring the music back down to earth. The spare instrumentation and voice-in-a-well production on “Go On” and “?’54-’55” works well, but both songs are done a disservice by having their similar approaches placed so closely together in the sequencing.

“Fall Asleep” is one of the rare rockers on the second side. The drop between the gorgeous guitar solo ending the song and the delicate strumming that opens “Love Will Fall” makes the dynamics of both numbers more powerful. Another moment like that would have added punch and forced the ear to stay closer to the speaker.

Living up to its name, “Tread Lightly” is never bold or forceful, but should make the Kickstarter fans proud and earn the band some well-deserved new ones. - Ink Magazine


"AbsolutePunk.net"

We Are Voices - What Makes Us So Alive?
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: May 12, 2009

I don’t know where We Are Voices have been and I don’t want to know. What I do want is for them to stay around forever. Hushed voices, beguilingly light guitars, lyrical beauty; this is just what I need. What Makes Us So Alive? could be a laughable question for many bands, but here it feels almost answerable, like it’s on the tip of our tongues. Music, camaraderie, and the chances a new day brings pulse throughout What Makes Us So Alive? Whether you put any faith in a higher power or not is irrelevant (for once). Here it’s just you and your life, conveniently conveyed by the forces of a well-crafted song.

We Are Voices succeed at being serious. Just get a load of these song titles, “The Business of Heaven” and “When All The Trees Have Lied”; if these phrases had front porches, I would leave a flaming pile of poop on them. Usually. Instead, I want to understand them. I want to decipher their intricacies. “The Business of Heaven” opens the album with wonderfully Lydia-esque vocals and the all-important question: “What makes us so alive?” There’s clearly no rush for an answer, as Lucas Larson sinks deeper and deeper into sentimentality. His group of not-so-merry players wafts about with ambient tones and a climax that just may change your life. I’ll hold for the goosebumps…and, there they are.

“This Isn’t Surface. This Isn’t Good.” is a bit more alt-rock than the other tracks, but its piano melodies thrive as the song’s built-in calming mechanism. It’s one of those relationship songs wonderfully recreated through, here’s a shocker, lyrics that have been obviously agonized over: “This air is everything to me / But you make believe / It doesn’t matter.” But Larson’s words aren’t even the best part. No, that distinction belongs to Joshua Greenlee’s mesmerizing drum solo. Throughout What Makes Us So Alive?, Greenlee takes every opportunity to infuse life into somewhat sobering tunes. His timing and inventiveness create a focus in We Are Voices’ music that is oft overlooked by soft-rock bands. It’s a f**k you to guidance counselors everywhere: we can have it all.

If you’d like more gushing, I could oblige. But this isn’t some thinly-veiled press release. I’m not going to ramble about “This Life. Somewhere Else.”’s watery texture and self-reflective lyrics. I shan’t blow your mind by detailing the percussive touches of “Dear Lord, It’s Simple…” (Instead I’ll just halfheartedly describe them. Ha, fools!) Simply inhale these songs and breathe for the first time - just look how dramatic I’m becoming. That counts for something, right? - Blake Solomon


"RadarMusicReview"

We Are Voices - The Business Of Heaven

1/9/09

Taking dream pop to a more lyrical level, Kansas City, Missouri quartet We Are Voices is poised to be a dominate force in Midwestern indie rock. With guitars that are drenched in delay, vocals that can go from dark to light at any moment, and an exceptional rhythm section; WAV executes that Indie rock meets Shoegaze genre that is emerging where most other acts claiming the same title fail. A well produced full length that is sure to impress, ‘What Makes Us So Alive’ is a smooth, dreamy album that leaves listeners humming the melodies in their head over and over for days on end.

www.WeAreVoices.com

www.myspace.com/wearevoices - radarmusicreview.com


"AbsolutePunk ABSOLUTExclusive: Unsigned Showcase"

Hailing from the BBQ mecca of Kansas City, Missouri, We Are Voices bring a little something different to the musical dining table. I know, that was a great metaphor. Anyway, the group's Appleseed Cast-esque atmospheres and Lydia-ish emotions make them, you know, "so in" right now. It's our pleasure to bring you a stream of their entire full-length right here. What Makes Us So Alive? drops May 12th. - Blake Solomon


"The Music, The Message"

This band from Missouri released "What Makes Us So Alive?" some time ago, but in these wintry months, it seems more than relevant. Breathy, tranquil, and emotional, We Are Voices blend dreamy pop melodies and glimmers of guitars. Don't just take our word for it; download their album for free. It's worth your time.

- themusicthemessage.com


"Dreamy quartet We Are Voices is waking up"

With a whisper and a shout, We Are Voices hopes to catch your ear.

Learning the ropes is rough. The hours are long, the work is heavy and the pay is low. It's a barrier to entry that demands fortitude: Are you sure you want to do this? Dreams don't come cheap or easy for young bands when music's longtime tender — the album — is hardly worth the plastic it's made on.

It's against this backdrop that We Are Voices recorded its debut, What Makes Us So Alive? The Kansas City quartet had played live only four times before heading into the studio two years ago. Essentially, the album's 10 songs were the first that the band had written together.

"We were like, 'Hey, guys, we've got songs, and we like them. We just need to get in there and do this right, and that will be people's first impression of us,'" says singer and guitarist Lucas Larson.

The idea that a well-recorded release will increase a band's profile is almost quaint, given the ubiquity of Pro Tools-tailored home recordings. But that's the appeal of We Are Voices: the wide-eyed naïveté reflected in these twentysomethings' music and in their approach to hoped-for fame.

Alive languished before We Are Voices finally decided to make it available for free download from its website, wearevoices.com. "We don't have a firm direction at this point," Larson says. "Just to keep on trucking and keep promoting the record, because I think a lot of people have still to hear it." But if you're already giving it away for free, how do you get people to listen?

Releasing an album these days without fanfare — that is, label support — is like throwing a rock into the ocean. Despite positive reviews, Alive hasn't spawned a flood of gigs, and We Are Voices hasn't become an overnight Internet sensation like, say, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin or Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. (Perhaps success flows more easily with a longer, sillier name; branding is everything, after all.)

Still, We Are Voices' debut is more than solid and well-polished. The melodies, which developed out of the band's initial jam sessions, are textured and arresting — something the band neither expected nor aimed to achieve. "We didn't have to sit down and think, 'Oh, we want to write a kind of sad, melodramatic rock song,'" says drummer Joshua Greenlee. "It's just what happened."

Alive moves with languid grace. Guitars echo and drift, surging and receding behind Larson's dreamy tenor. Terse guitar slashes fade into gentle chiming chords and slowly build into epic swells that never quite crest. The band, inspired by local group Appleseed Cast and the cinematic post-rock of Iceland's Sigur Rós, recorded with the help of Flee the Seen's Aaron Crawford, whose hand is most apparent in the crisp separation of tones and the warm, atmospheric sound.

Thematically, Alive operates in the shadow of moody ambivalence. The opening track, "The Business of Heaven," takes its name from a C.S. Lewis collection and ponders the purpose of life. "At Any Rate" finds Larson running head over heels after something I cannot see. It's not an album of deep thoughts as much as nagging wonder. "I believe a lot of people spend time thinking things like that," Larson says. "We realized not having all the answers is an OK place to be."

"We're all in our mid-20s," guitarist Christopher Holt says. "Nobody knows where they belong. We were all done with school or getting done with school, and it's a big point in people's lives when you ask, 'Where do you go after that? What's your next step going to be? How do you get started?'"

The same questions came up repeatedly after the album's release a year ago. After a small flurry of shows last summer, the band went on a seven-month hiatus, interrupted only by a weeklong winter tour with Austin, Texas' Rocketboys.

"It gave us time to process things that were going on," bassist and vocalist Eric Baldwin says.

"We were at the point where we needed to start figuring out what we needed to do or to move on and do something else," Greenlee adds. "We didn't play for a long time. It was kind of bittersweet, but it helped us realize we want to do this."

A month ago, the band picked up again. Larson, Baldwin and Greenlee are all living together in the house of Greenlee's parents. (The elder Greenlees are working overseas in Kuwait and Afghanistan.) They've been doing a lot of writing, with an eye to their next release: something more raw and less ponderous. In the meantime, the plan is to play some shows and catch more ears across Kansas City.

"The biggest question was how it would be received, even while we were recording it," Larson says. "Like, 'Oh, gosh, if nobody likes this or buys this, it's totally not worth it.' I think we're still trying to reach the 'worth it' level," he admits.

Nobody said making music would be easy, cheap or — in the age of downloading — profitable. But with their heads down and feet forward, there's still hope that talent and hone - Pitch.com


"Popwreckoning.com"

What Makes Us So Alive?
This is a question that is pretty thought provoking. No matter if you believe in a higher power or not, it makes you think; what DOES make us so alive?

From the second I played We Are Voices’ debut album, What Makes Us So Alive?, it seemed to have a hold on a part of my brain. Not only the part that appreciates music, but something deeper than that. Lucas Larson’s lyrics reach out and grasp a part of the soul. His soft voice and powerful lyrics make it hard to pay attention to anything else. Including this review.

The first two tracks “The Business of Heaven” and “When All The Trees Have Lied…” flow together like one liquid song.

“The Business of Heaven” starts out soft, moving through my veins like a cheap drug. The lyrical genius along with the smooth melodic guitar rhythms could almost hypnotize – and put you in a trance.

Track four, “At This Rate,” starts off sounding a bit like Brand New, but then transforms back into the unmistakable sound of we are voices.

The drums at the beginning of “Dear Lord, It’s Simple” take over the song and seem to put me in a trance. The rim shots and simple cymbal crashes pulled me in, I almost didn’t realize that Larson has started singing until he clearly says “Who am I to listen” then his voice just took over.

What Makes Us So Alive? ends with that exact quote. Larson repeats it over, and over, engraving it in.

I’m not saying that this album is great because I feel obligated to. I’m saying this album is great because of the way it makes me feel when I listen to it.

It makes me question and think for myself about life and the why behind it. What, honestly, does make me alive? Is it the work I do? The friends that I’m around?

We Are Voices opens so many doors that it’s hard to figure out which one to step into.

Ever have those moments where you sit and just think about where your life is going or what your purpose is?

Go to wearevoices.com to get a free download of What Makes Us So Alive? - Popwreckoning.com


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

The Kansas City quartet We Are Voices spent the first year of the bands existence writing and recording a debut record, honing their live performance, and laying the groundwork for an effectual career as an alt/ indie staple. After releasing Tread Lightly in December 2012 to positive press and approving critics, it became apparent that their dedication and polished approach to songwriting would truly set them apart as one of the regions best.
Rich pop melodies and dreamy soundscapes meet avid, intelligent guitar work and raucous, intricate rhythms, with a live show that will captivate and invigorate its audience.
We Are Voices may just be one of the best bands youve never heard of.