“The inbox overfloweth” is a sentence I’ve been saying a lot lately; it seems as if, more and more, we’re getting sent amazing music that comes out of nowhere. It obviously doesn’t come out of nowhere. It’s important to remember that each and every band we think of as new has history behind it; even if they’ve only released one EP or track, bands usually percolate around friend groups and social networks for a while before they actually release music. And yet, to us, their music seems fresh and unexpected, like a breeze barging through a slightly open window and filling our living room with its refreshing air (or something like that, get off my back).
This time, the breeze is strong indeed (god, why did I choose this metaphor), buoyed by Azure‘s infectious blend of power metal, progressive rock, and even Canterbury influenced psychedelia. Hot off the release of their first full length last year, this Brighton-based band (if you’ve been following the UK scene, you’ll understand why this matters) emailed us out of nowhere regarding their upcoming, twenty minute, single track EP and I was instantly hooked. There really wasn’t an option for me not to be; within the very first minute, unisons which remind us of early Dream Theater (no, earlier than that. Earlier) engulf us from all ends. Everything is painted in rich, pastel colors, like an old-school D&D illustration come to life.
By the time the vocals first hit me, I was already laughing with joy. Redtail tells the story of a shunned and misunderstood creature, trying their best to communicate with people who are afraid of then. But Redtail themself, our protagonist, is a joyous and free living creature; the vocal’s timbre is set to match that, filled with so much verve and joy of life as to set our hearts racing. My favorite thing about them is how unapologetic they are; Azure makes music that draws from bands like Rush and Yes as much as they do form the latter, heavier iterations and, as such, contain plenty of cheese. But that cheese is owned and transformed into earnest storytelling, the saccharine qualities serving a purpose within the grand scheme of things.
There’s so much more happening on this track throughout its twenty minute run (like the crazy synth section near the middle, which calls to mind those Canterbury influences), but that kind of innocent, unapologetic, and over the top quality is maintained all along and, honestly, thank God for that. It means that Redtail is a thrilling journey to go on again and again, never losing its shine because it shines so damn bright. We’re more than proud (ecstatic is the word, perhaps) to premiere the full thing right here, one day before its official release. Give it a try, let it sweep you away and if you’ve enjoyed it, make sure to click through below and pre-order it.