For a band that’s only been together since 2014 and an acoustic-based trio, Denver’s Edison has a big, full, lush – near orchestral – sound. One listen to their debut album, Familiar Spirit, and you can hear layered harmonies and diverse instrumentation. The band is fronted by singer Sarah Slaton, along with multi-instrumentalist Dustin Morris and Grammy-nominated guitarist Maxwell Hughes (formerly of The Lumineers). In the short time of their existence, they’ve toured with such known acts as Iron & Wine, Martin Sexton and Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats, so you know they’re onto something.
There are a lot of dramatic flourishes in the band’s sound, starting with the opening track, “The Good Fight”, which goes from ethereal vocals floating underneath harmonies, acoustic instruments, which then turns to a stripped down vocal interplay and explodes into a danceable track – three different movements that sway back and forth. “San Jose” is, indeed, cinematic and powerful, with interesting punches of what sounds like muted trumpet and multi-tracked vocals and a boisterous chorus; “Civil War”, again, is another track filled with dramatic vocals and a nice interplay between guitar and a fuzzed mandolin and “New York” has a “soundtrack” feel – something you can imagine hearing on television or in a movie.
It’s a nice sound; melodic and embracing. Good vocals and clean, sparse playing – knowing where to leave the spaces is the hardest thing about songwriting and here, Edison, succeeds. A very encouraging first release – one wonders what they may do next.
Familiar Spirit is available now