Friday, September 27, 2013

Hello, Seattle Album Review for 'Improper Greeting'

Hailing from Long Island and Oneonta, NY, Hello, Seattle just released their debut album, Improper Greeting. 

This female fronted group consisting of: Kimberly Berg (singer), Amy Maxwell (guitar), Frank Cicciarello (bass), Andrew Platt (drummer), and Jason Psanis (pianist), blew me away with some great alternative/awesomeness music.

The opening track, "Let Go," is a brief intro into the musical stylings of Hello, Seattle. The singer comes in about midway through and sings the name of the track over and over – powerful start.

"Camouflage" has a very familiar tone to it. I think the chords sound a bit like Cute Without the E by Taking Back Sunday, except this track adds piano and gives the song more of upbeat dance like feel to it before slowing down and changing tone. Berg's vocals are great on this.

"Broken Glass" is a bit heavier than the previous track and the singer is more aggressive to match. The song features killer piano that drives the song.

The next track, "The Divide" is an acoustic ballad. Her voice takes a lovely folky catchy tone to it. I love the harmonies and the airiness to the vocals. The subtle keys that come are wonderful, and then quickly followed with the rest of the band coming in. Almost as subtle as the piano is some really good bass work.

"Fire Eyes" prepares the listener for a quick tempo fun song right from the chattering hi-hats in the beginning of the track. The chorus is especially strong, and at times she sounds like a more indie rock version of Hayley Williams. The music over the bridge is great, the whole band comes together so well.

"Peter Pan" is another acoustic track featuring piano. I really dig the vocals and words in this song. It's a good concept, and simply puts the feelings of many people into something that is easy and relatable. 

A slick bass line and an even better drum beat open this song. "Ghost In a Common Place," instrumentally, is my favorite track. You really hear their talent on this track. The song features a much different bridge then the others. I really feel the creativity is at a max here. The layering of the vocals with the effects, the drop out, and then guitar solo. Just really a brilliant song.

"The Cure" has prominent bass playing by Cicciarello, and continues the overall feel of the album. In my opinion this song does not resonate with me as much as the others, but it is still solid.

This next track sort of opens up like "Fire Eyes" with quick hi-hats hits and rhythms, but the overall feel is totally different. "Horizon" makes you feel like you are on the run and as I'm writing Berg began singing, "I'm already moving," so maybe I got the point! This song could definitely be a single, and I can also hear it as part of a soundtrack for a movie.

"Strides" is up next, and follows a sort of bluesy tone to it in the beginning. It is probably the most different of the tracks on the album, and has differing parts. Perhaps my biggest gripe on the whole album is that this song is only about two minutes long! I want more!

Closing out the album in "Leaving." It sort of has a march to it in the chorus. It is super catchy and mixes a few different styles on it. I love the string work on this song, and Berg sings with such passion here. It is the perfect closing song for an album because it sounds like the closer of a set. Well done on this track.

Hello, Seattle is super tight! Everyone in the band is on point and they definitely play well together and are comfortable writing together. Piano, bass, guitars, drums all hit the nail on the head with consistency and pin point fluidness. Maxwell is a great lyric writer, and knows how to engross the listener. Berg has a bit of Hayley and a bit of Avril, but yet is able to find her own voice among the comparisons to really deliver on all the songs.

Improper Greeting is a wonderful first step into music for this band, and as I told the bass player, I had no sort of idea of what the band sounded like coming in, and boy was I impressed!

Check them out at -

1 comment:

  1. I agree the band is tight and the music and lyrics cover the whole spectrum. The divide has you listening over and over to catch the lyrics. Ghost has an eerie effect in the vocals very cool.


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