Review: Half Alive – Now, Not Yet

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Half Alive's upcoming album showcases their talent that has brought them so much attention in the industry - an ambitious debut.

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In the three short years since the band formed, genre-defying Half Alive have made a name for themselves in a huge way.  With a highly praised performance on Jimmy Kimmel, millions of listeners and a major label signing, it’s rare to find the kind of band that take off so quickly in the music industry.  Their upcoming album, Now, Not Yet, is the band’s first full length album, full of tracks that mix indie, electropop and alternative rock to give us the first impression of Half Alive’s sound.

Opening with the chilled out ‘OK OK?’, we get to hear lead singer Josh Taylor’s classically soft indie vocals with a backdrop of distorted guitar and electropop vibes.  Musically similar to groups like Two Door Cinema Club, this track shows that Half Alive will easily fit into the indie pop music scene.  Following this we have ‘Runaway’, which although shares musical similarities to ‘OK OK?’, is one of the best tracks on the album.  It’s an upbeat and pop-oriented easy listen, showcasing the band’s extensive songwriting experience and ability to make something really catchy.  The quicker pace makes it stand out as a great tune.

Other tracks on Now, Not Yet inject the chilled out indie with a funkier beat and synth-driven backing, adding enough change to their sound to make this an engaging debut, particularly on ‘Maybe’ and ‘Arrow’.  However, the vocals lack this variation, which in places makes the songs sound somewhat repetitive.  Coming to ‘Still Feel’, one of the most lyrically strong tracks on the album, we are again reminded of their talent at creating interesting lyrics and an inspired beat.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the album is the musical variety on offer – a skill which will serve the band well throughout their career – and nowhere is this more evident than the opening of ‘Trust’.  The intro combines effect-heavy guitars and even a brass section to create a musically rich sound, which gives way into a bass-driven indie track.  A little more of this experimental feeling from the vocal side and this has the potential to be a really impressive debut album.

Now, Not Yet concludes with ‘Creature’, a real message of hope with lyrics that convey the passion of Half Alive.  This is a band that isn’t afraid to step forward with their songs and show the world what they represent.  It’s the perfect way to end a first album, creating a sense of anticipation of what is to come from the band.

Now, Not Yet is an ambitious debut from a talented up-and-coming band.  The musical variation of the tracks make up for a less engaging vocal style. But when a band is as experimental as Half Alive, there is enough potential for the listener to be curious about what they’re going to do next. The future is bright for Half Alive, and all of the success they have had so far is just an indication of what is to come.

Half Alive’s Now, Not Yet will be out August 9th via RCA Records.

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First year French and Spanish student. Always going through some kind of music-based phase

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