CD Review: Sister Speak “The Stand”

Sherri Anne was born in Canada but currently splits her time between The United States and Canada in Los Angeles and British Columbia. The singer-songwriter has a voice and a style to her songs that bring to mind artists like Tori Amos and most obviously, Sarah McLachlin because of the style of both artists’ vocal sound. Given the piano or acoustic guitar nature to her songs, Sherri Anne’s music has a Folk flavor to it with a slight Alternative Rock flavor. Recently, Sherri Anne created a new six-song release under the moniker of Sister Speak. That release is called The Stand. To bring the EP to life, she was joined by Sarven Manguiat (Electric Guitar) and Avli Avliav (keys, moog bass and programming) along with several others who added touches to several tunes on the release.

Sister Speak’s The Stand EP begins with the track “New York Sunrise”. The track begins with the sound of producer Avli Avliav’s piano. The gentle feel of the instrument is soon joined up with the vocals from Sherri Anne and the track builds from there. Eventually, the song features piano, drums, strings and more to create a song that is rather reminiscent of something that would have come from a singer such as Sarah McLachlin. Like McLachlin’s “Adia,” it is the vocals from Sherri Anne and the piano that truly shine in this track. But once the track reaches its full potential, the entire ensemble creates a track that definitely belongs on any Pop-rock radio format.

Once “New York Sunrise” comes to an end, Sherri Anne and the rest of the ensemble slow things down on the song “Fighter”. The slower pace of the song may have meant a slightly less energetic approach to the music; however, that is not the case on this track. The energetic delivery coming on the release is mainly due to the lyrical content about a woman who is not giving up. While the track begins with a slower pace at the beginning of the song, the track builds to a nice crescendo near the end to give the song a strong finish.

One of the most upbeat moments on The Stand EP from Sister Speak belongs to the track “Do You Believe”. With this track, Sherri Anne and producer Avli Avliav take the music of the track in an Electronic musical direction. That Electronic music feel gives the track a much different musical approach than the previous. But just like the earlier songs, “Do You Believe” has a strong commercial appeal to the music.

The first three tracks on The Stand EP do a wonderful job of leading up to the track on the EP that is currently being used to promote the release of the EP in the near future. That single that is helping to promote the release is the title track off the EP.

The major difference that the listener will notice immediately when listening to “The Stand” is that the main instrument on the track is actually the acoustic guitar from Sherri Anne and not producer Avli Avliav’s keyboards. Right from the very start, that gives this track a much different feel than the previous tracks. The gently-delivered vocals from Sherri Anne help to add to the easy feel of the acoustic guitar. The lone guitar and vocals from Sherry Anne lasts for about one minute before the track takes on a more complex feel to the music. The programming that appears on the track gives the track a nice beat before the rest of the instrumentation shows up. By the time the track reaches its peak, Sherri Anne’s acoustic guitar has been joined by keyboards, programming, strings, and other instrumentation. Having been picked as the lead-off single, it is easy to see why “The Stand” got that distinction as it is rather strong.

Officially the last track on The Stand EP, the song “Walls” brings the official tracks to a close with a very energetic Pop-rock delivery. The track begins with the sound of Avli Avliav on the piano. Eventually, the entire band joins in to create one of the fullest sounds on the album, as well as one of the most energetic deliveries. “Walls” is easily one of the standout tracks on the release.

While The Stand EP itself contains five songs, the release contains one more song to bring the release up to an even half dozen. The sixth track on the release is entitled “Catch Me As I Fall” and features the guitar from Sherry Anne and vocals from Tolan Shaw who helps to create a duet with Sherry Anne. The acoustic guitar and piano create a music bed that goes along well with the two singers adding their vocals to help make one of the emotional moments on the release. The light feel of the track makes for a perfect ending to the EP.  
     
Starting from the very beginning track, Sister Speak’s The Stand EP hits the listener with Pop-rock music that is sure to satisfy. The five “album tracks” and the bonus track that completes the release combine to create a pop-rock release that feels so solid that each of the songs contained within should be allowed to find their way onto radio on their own merits. As it is though, the lead-off single of the title track of the release is a great place to begin. Hopefully, more tracks will be featured. Through it all, Sherri Anne and the rest of the musicians who helped to create the release under the Sister Speak moniker combined their efforts to make a solid debut that should be only the beginning of something special.

 

For more information, check out Hi Lo La’s PR firm of Whiplash PR & Management by clicking on the logo for the company. 

 

To check out the music of Hi Lo Ha, check out the track “Radio“. 

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