Race to Neptune is an alt-art rock band out of Fort Collins, Colorado featuring Brian Maier on guitar and vocals; Zach Berger on lead guitar; Vanessa Freese on drums and Ken Cavanaugh on bass. The band creates a new, refined yet powerful sound with detailed guitar work, carefully placed distortion, poetic lyrics and stomping rhythms. They draw their main influences from 80’s/90’s alt-rock and 60’s psychedelic rock. Their single, “Wanderlilly” off their album 'Oh Contraire' is entrancing.
"Wanderlilly" kicks off with an engaging and unusual 6-bar intro (8 beats to the phrase) comprised of a minimalist repeating guitar line accompanied by pounding drums; as the song build towards the first first, the guitar lines develop, adding counterpoint and layers. Brian Maier enters on lead vocals with pristine clarity and a soft timbre. The vocal melody slightly mimics the guitar line, leading into the chorus where the guitar and vocals join in unison. Giving thoughtful attention to every artistic detail and nuance of composition is what defines Race to Neptune. With each verse and chorus that passes the instrumental arrangement gets more complex producing a heart pounding and intense musical experience. By the end of the song the band is fully rocking out with heavy distortion and textures.
“Wanderlilly” has a basic verse-chorus format (ABABAB) which works well for the recurring verses and the two line simple chorus. It is a poetic song with lyrics that are haunting and graceful, ghost-like. In the first verse he sings, “Lady Wanderlilly/Come on over to me now/She moves so gracefully/In my ear she whispered softly,” leading into the chorus “I've seen angels/I've seen angels.” With each verse, the story develops; at first a soft whisper and a consuming silence then a history of emotional scars is revealed, "She has so many stories. It's better to listen carefully." The stark quality of the lyrics works well with the intensity of the musical landscape.
By the time you finish listening to Race to Neptune's "Wanderlilly" you are left with that "wow" feeling that comes from hearing music that is truly unique, filled with captivating detail and artistry. “Wanderlilly” is just one of many great tunes off 'Oh Contraire.' For more information on the band and to purchase their music, visit them on Bandcamp.