4.5/5| Posted September 20, 2011
I never really heard of Daes Vail until I discovered RadioU. I really liked what I heard, which is weird because I usually don't listen to that type of music, and I picked up this album. I also really liked what I heard. The band brings a nice ndie rock tone that isen't too overpowering or arrogant. Wes Blaylock's voice is also a star here as he is able to hit a really amazing number of notes in all sorts of vocal tone regions.
Deas Vail is a really good band that makes honest music and has a good time doing it.
:D| Posted June 17, 2011
Lovely album! I heard about Deas Veil from the TVU, and I instantly fell in love with their music. They seem very coffee-house-ish. (If the makes sence, haha.) My favorite song on the album is "Excuses". All fantastic songs, though. Truely talented group - Highly recommended!
With a delightful and atmospheric sound, Deas Vail has made an excellent album in Birds & Cages.| Posted January 04, 2011
I don’t think I’ve heard of any band that sounds quite like Deas Vail. Their style is a sort of soft alternative rock, largely driven by a piano and solid but not too powerful electric guitar, and their main vocalist, Wes Blaylock, sings in an extremely high register and boasts a remarkably strong voice in an unusually high octave. Birds & Cages is a great album as it boasts a number of strong tracks that fall right into the band’s distinct style and range from catchy, to epic, to anything in between, making a solid and unique album unlike anything else I’ve heard before.
The album starts off on a delightfully refreshing note with one of its best songs entitled “The Things You Were.” It’s refreshing both musically and lyrically, as it kicks off the album with a soft piano part that gradually grows into a soaring chorus. The song’s lyrics are also refreshing, as the Wes sings, “You were ordinary until you came and saved me. This is not what it seems, you’ve taken me by surprise and given me new life.” It makes me think of how God refreshes me by continually showing me how extraordinary he is, and how he’s there for those who haven’t yet found new life in him.
“Growing Pains” is a wonderfully catchy piece with a quick and lively guitar riff and a smartly offbeat-sounding chorus. It is also, like the track before it, a somewhat refreshing song in its sound. It’s one of the more entertaining songs on Birds & Cages, and also has a solid message. “What is life kept to ourselves, careful words composed? It’s a book upon the shelf, its story never told.” It reminds me to not live for myself, but to “live and die for anyone else” (as Anberlin says in their song “Burn Out Brighter”), to let my life’s story be told, and not let it gather dust on the shelf.
“Excuses” is instantly likable as a catchy drum beat kicks it off and a lovely guitar section comes in, followed by a soft verse and a very strong, rock solid chorus that declares, “Come on, come on, don’t wait until the damage is done! It’s gone when it’s gone, don’t you want to know what we could become?” Though the song lacks a bridge with lyrics in it, the chorus is worth repeating the extra time as it reminds listeners to not make up excuses, but to take the opportunities life gives them, to “chase the smoke of (their) guns” and live life to the fullest. Wes’ vocals simply soar through the chorus, making “Excuses” an especially powerful track.
Next up is “Cages,” which musically seems to fit right between “Excuses” and the following track, “Birds.” It mixes the catchiness of “Excuses” with the atmosphere of “Birds” for a song that, while undeniably solid, doesn’t quite match up to either track. However, it is notably unique, and still has a few standout moments.
“Birds” seems to suddenly change the mood of the album as an instantly moving piano part starts off the piece, continues into the verse as Wes’ vocals come in, and softens up for his voice to soar through the incredibly atmospheric chorus. The entire song has a powerful sense of atmosphere and creates the kind of feeling I get when something is so epic it almost gives me chills. The funny part of the song, especially the chorus and bridge, is that Wes’ voice almost sounds like a bird as he sings so high and powerfully, and sings plenty of “Oooh”s in the bridge. The bridge is also bolstered significantly by guest vocals from Matt Thiessen of Relient K. Overall “Birds” is the record’s strongest track that is sure to grab anyone’s attention.
As suddenly as the record changed pace for “Birds,” “Tell Me” shifts the tone into something that sounds fun and almost carefree. “Tell Me” is fun, though only 48 seconds long, and leads right into “Dance In Perfect Time,” which is yet another peaceful and refreshing song. The style is softer, though, and has a wistful sort of feel to it, which makes it entertaining and calming in its own way, and it ends by repeating the lyrics of “Tell Me” a few times. “Sunlight” follows and changes the tone yet again. The guitars come in a little harder and the chorus is catchy, making another solid track for the record as it seems to ponder the way people shy away from the light (“Sunlight is falling again, but it never touches us, because we cover our eyes and cover our fragile skin”). “Puzzles and Pieces” is next, showing Birds & Cages’ only legitimate weak spot. The song is nice and mellow, but fails to capture the same feeling as other softer songs like “Dance in Perfect Time.” The whole thing is slow and doesn’t really offer anything of substance, though it does have its moments.
Birds & Cages goes into its final three tracks with another more epic approach, kind of like “Birds” only in a different sort of way. “The Great Physician” is a truly powerful song, pleading for God to “take all of my pain” and listeners to, “Take your place under the hand of the Great Physician” because, “Hope will be there if you’ll listen.” It’s a song about the healing power of God, and how we just need to fall into his hands and trust him to take care of us. Other lines seem to ponder why we still struggle when we do trust God completely, though (“How can it be that we’re saved just to live with such shame?”) It doesn’t really answer the question, but rather leaves the listener to ponder it as the chorus fires up again. “The Leaper” and “Atlantis” finish off the record by taking listeners on a somewhat unpredictable, yet enjoyable and epic, musical journey. They don’t stand out as much as “The Great Physician” does, but they are still worthy finishing tracks.
Oddly enough, as I mentioned before, Wes’ voice somewhat resembles a bird in some places throughout the record. Though his voice might sound annoying to some listeners because of his higher register, it has grown on me the more I’ve listened to the album, and I think his higher octave contributes immensely to the band’s style and the feel of their music. There are a couple weak spots throughout the album (namely one part of “Atlantis”) but otherwise his voice is solid throughout. Laura Blaylock (keys) also has a great voice, and between her and Wes, the vocal section is very well taken care of. The rest of the band shows a solid performance as well, with Andy Moore (guitar) and Justin Froning (bass) carrying each song and Kelsey Harelson throwing out plenty of catchy and enjoyable beats on the drums.
Birds & Cages is, quite simply, an excellent album. Most of the songs are catchy, epic and atmospheric, or all of the above, and these qualities make for a thoroughly enjoyable listen. The first couple times I listened to it I only liked the tracks that immediately stood out (“Excuses” and “Birds”) but as I kept listening to it, each song grew on me at various levels; songs like “The Things You Were” and “The Great Physician” especially began to show their true quality the more I listened to them. Birds & Cages thrives on soft rock, catchiness, and atmosphere, all thrown together into a great package that’s wholly worth purchasing if you’re willing to give it a few listens to let it grow on you.
Amazing and Poetic| Posted September 23, 2010
This is the sophmore album for the indie rock/emo band Deas Vail. It's a great CD with great lyrics, great tunes, great music, great vocals, just about great everything :P. Deas Vail has previously released a couple of EPs and one full length album. This CD really showcases they're talent for melodies and Wes's falsetto...No one should hesitate to get this album, it's awesome :D! Btw, the band's name means (in Latin and Old French) "Humble Servant of God"...:)
"The Things You Were"*
"Birds" [featuring Matt Thiessen of Relient K]*
"Dance In Perfect Time"
"Puzzles and Pieces"
"The Great Physician"*
"The Leaper" *
A cool band from Arkansas| Posted December 19, 2009
Well, this review has been a long time coming but finally, here it is. I'm usually a fan of Christian rock and will listen to softer Christian music every now and then. However, Arkansas' own Deas Vail remains my favorite artist. With their album "Birds & Cages" which released digitally and at shows October 27th, this is their best work yet. Produced by Mark Lee Townsend, (The Wedding, Relient K) "Birds & Cages" shows maturity from their debut full length "All The Houses Look The Same." The band signed to Mono Vs. Stereo, a branch of Gotee, and almost immediately released the album. The physical copy will be available everywhere on January 26th 2010.
Deas Vail is one of those artists that I can put on their album and hit play and not touch the dial because each song is worth the listen. However, my personal favorites on the album would have to be "Birds", "Cages", "The Things You Were", "Excuses", and "Atlantis" but each song on the album is as beautiful and full of meaning as the preceding track.
There's not much more I can say except that you should check them out. They're about to go on tour heavily in 2010 touring with Owl City and then with Copeland.
Light As Air| Posted October 30, 2009
Love this new album. It's consistant with their first disk "All The Houses Look The Same" yet it's got it's own personality. Fans of the first disk will love this one and the album artwork is so cute!