When I last sat down to write about Between the Echoes, it was for their single “Phantom Limb” that featured Anberlin’s Stephen Christian on guest vocals. The band has since released their debut full-length record called Awake While Dreaming. The album features several twists and turns, much like navigating your way out of a labyrinth, and their ability to tell a story from beginning to end is rarely seen this vividly on a first album. Over the 14-track LP, that also includes three interludes to break up the sections of the album, Between the Echoes take the listener on a cryptic journey of self-discovery that is filled with plenty of youthful exuberance.
After a brief introductory song called “Below the Surface,” the new single called “Monsters” bleeds into the mix that demands to be taken seriously from its first listen. The booming drumbeat in the beginning allows for lead vocalist Marvin Albert to command the track with some nice vocal harmonies from Katie Jean over the music orchestrated by multi-instrumentalist Chad William. The song is a haunting track about the self-doubt we all experience at one point or another in our own lives, and the pitfalls that can take place during these occurrences. Things continue to stay interesting with “Call of the Siren,” a song that features a nice, spiraling guitar riff and hones in on the soft/loud dynamic seen often in the emo genre.
After a brief first interlude, called “Lock and Key,” the band continues down a dark path with “Under the Illusion” and “Phantom Limb.” Things take a turn towards the more electronic-based rock with “Waking Up” that has a nice blend of synths in the mix much like a Stranger Things episode. Albert’s command of the vocals navigate the listener through the dark themes like a flashlight slicing through the night.
Later tracks like “Lost Frequencies” feature some nice, soothing vocals from Katie Jean to start off the song before Marvin Albert takes over lead vocal duties to continue the storytelling. “Polarity” features some great guitar tones, while “Interlocking Lovers and Disease” unfolds perfectly from start to finish with its nice build-ups to an anthemic chorus to remain memorable. By the time you reach the closing, and longest song called “Evergreen” you will likely become a believer in Between The Echoes’ ability to convey so much raw emotion in their music that showcases a band on the cusp of putting all of the pieces together very quickly in their artistic development. I will be watching these talented musician’s collective careers with great interest.