Debuts are scary –they can make or break you. New York based band, Birch, is all about those good first impressions though and their debut, Halfway is an excellent, poppy, indie EP featuring a variety of tracks that fuse some great instrumental lines and excellent vocals. Each song is masterfully crafted.
Halfway is a great introductory EP as it demonstrates the band’s full range of style. For instance, the first track carries a catchier, poppy sound, the following song is far more soulful –each song is pretty unique. That said, Birch has an excellent range. Each song is a comfortable transition and the music just flows. Vocalist Michelle Birsky is a perfect match as well, helping tie together the dynamic changes of the album with her robust singing. Birch is good, making them one of the more promising indie bands to spring up as of late. The electronic tones mixed with cheery guitar melodies makes for a great combination. And again, Birsky’s vocals are on point.
From a far more critical stand point, Halfway does feel like it’s playing it safe. The EP is textbook, it’s everything it should be –it’s an easy ‘A’. That’s just the issue. I’m sure Birch has a trick or two up their sleeve for the future, but this initial release just isn’t all that dazzling. While I wouldn’t steer anyone away from Halfway, it just doesn’t do much to demand to be listened to.
At the end of the day Birch made an excellent debut and proved that they need to work their way under most indie fan’s radars. Their poppy tunes are fantastic. While you shouldn’t expect anything groundbreaking, the EP still holds strong.