Album reviews: The Mars Patrol, Shannon Curtis, Jenn Bostic

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Album reviews: The Mars Patrol, Shannon Curtis, Jenn Bostic

The Mars Patrol

Young Lovers/Self-released

London-based sextet, The Mars Patrol, has been making undeniably catchy music for almost a decade, and its latest EP Young Lovers is no exception. The band’s trademark upbeat sound shines on the rousing opener “Here We Go,” while “Stop Pushing You Away” and the closing title track feature the driving pop beat and jangly guitars that make you want to dance. Singer Davina Divine enchants with strong, energetic vocals, and she pairs well with songwriter, guitarist, and co-founding band member Ross Nelson to create a number of sparkling lyrical moments showcasing the band’s penchant for positive consciousness.

Shannon Curtis

Cinemascope/Saint Cloud Records

Los Angeles-based dream pop artist Shannon Curtis has made an intriguing debut. Often relying on languid synths to match with her breathy, ethereal vocals, Curtis strikes a chord with her down-tempo tracks. “Love is an Earthquake” opens with a steady roll of synths that you expect to expand, yet Curtis does the unexpected, and uses restraint in a surprisingly effective manner. On “Book of Fiction” Curtis croons about a relationship that can never be. On the keys and beat machine-heavy “Let’s Stay In,” Curtis lets her hair down a little and has some fun. The percussion on “Dandelion Wishes” adds an organic feel to the track, and “Anti-Gravity” features an oddly placed, sonic squiggle that manages to grow on you, while the throbbing beats on “So Many Stars” mirror a beating heart make for a nice effect. Cinemascope brings together a winning combination of subtlety, thoughtful lyrics, and otherworldly atmospherics.

Jenn Bostic

Jealous/Self-released

Jenn Bostic is poised to take the music world by storm. The Nashville-based singer-songwriter’s debut album is full of passion, memorable melodies and lyrics that will tug at your heartstrings. Whether it’s the funky country of “Change,” the pop rock of “Anywhere But Here,” or the driving piano balladry of “Snowstorm,” Bostic shines as much for her showstopping vocals as she does for musical variety. Bostic will get you with her lyrics too. You’ll likely need a Kleenex after hearing the ode to her deceased father “Jealous of the Angels,” while “Just One Day” is a swelling, mid-tempo, radio-friendly number. “Let’s Get Ahead of Ourselves” is an airy, upbeat nod to falling head-over-heels in love, and a way for people to see Bostic’s fun-loving side. Bostic won 5 Independent Country Music Association Awards in 2012, and with the release of Jealous, a new country music queen is emerging.

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