The D.C. music scene has always been a vibrant intermingling of world-class musicians with roots in countless genres. As the world attempts to recover from Covid-19, both new and established acts from the area are barreling back headfirst into the music scene — and they’ve got a lot to share. Read on for our reviews of 10 local artists’ impressive new releases.
Azure Wolf, a female-fronted, Winchester, Virginia-based band, is hitting the local scene with their debut album “Tensions” — and it lives up to its name. The compilation, which includes edgy, sorrowful ballads and high-energy punk with emo-rock-infused tracks, successfully blends a spectrum of genres and emotions.
The top track “Honey Rush” is at once a thrashing cry for liberation and a delicate yearning for love. The song starts with a deep, pounding bass and a careful, shaded guitar riff, a sound evocative of an apprehensive desire. The strength of the verse continues to ramp up, with the lead singer proclaiming her power: “Still I’m breaking hearts and I’m moving on,” exploding into an unrestrained chorus supported by an urgent guitar and a faster, more layered sound.
Lead singer Victoria Backle, whose elegant yet soulful belts are a tension in themselves, shines with a powerful display of vocal nerve. “Earth Didn’t Stop” is another stand-out track, impressive for its lyrical depth and simplicity. It is a slow, melodic and dreamy contemplation of mourning that asks: How can the earth keep turning when a loved one dies?
Again, the tensions the singer feels are apparent within the chorus, with a brief nod to an afterlife that becomes quickly grounded by the grief of earthly experience: “An angel got her wings/but I often think/why the earth didn’t stop that night.” The band’s debut album is a preview of the spectrum of humanity, with highs, lows and contradictions that somehow still work.
Catch Azure Wolf at one of their upcoming performances: November 5 at Bright Box in Winchester, Virginia; November 26 at Pearl Street Warehouse in D.C.; December 2 at the Pocket in D.C.; December 12 at Pie Shop in D.C.; December 31 at First Night Winchester Festival in Winchester, Virginia.For more information on Azure Wolf, visit azurewolfmusic.com or follow them on Instagram @azurewolfmusic
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