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  • Bryon Harris

Faultlines - 'Rise'

Review By Matt Wong & Staff

Faultlines aspires to make music that brings to life human emotion and experience with tight folk harmonies that warm like the California sun and lyrics that speak to the gritty, universal inter-human experience. Faultlines consists of members that bring their collective years of experience from touring, backing up major label artists, and songwriting to the table. The group regularly performs at various residencies throughout Southern California and has opened for major artist including Christina Perri and Easton Corbin.

"Rise" begins with two acoustic guitar parts that interact rhythmically and give the track a touch of movement right off the bat. The guitars are followed by a four to the floor kick and the vocals on the first verse. The pre-chorus introduces the bass and a shaker part, both playing a driving rhythm that builds the song’s intensity towards the chorus. The cutoff immediately preceding the chorus has a nice effect, and makes for a greater impact on the chorus. A banjo and tambourine are added to the arrangement giving the song more rhythmic movement and drive.

The song then scales back in dynamics but retains its drive and attitude with an organ introduced to the arrangement to provide variation to the song. The organ is a nice addition to a highly rhythmic song, as it plays pads and glues the rhythms together. Background vocals build more excitement as the song heads towards another chorus. where a rhythmic string part adds flash and sparkle.

The bridge strips back down to just vocals and guitars, which pulls the listener into an intimate listening experience. Instrumentation is gradually added back in, and the build ends with a climactic chorus. The song ends with an energetic instrumental section, and vocal tag. The accelerando at the end is creative and not something one hears often anymore.

The lyrics in “Rise” are a reminder that we are not alone, and together we will rise up. The band sings about how we “know how it feels to be alone. How it hurts to be the only one.” However, they later sing about how “When we rise up…We’ll never come back down.” These lyrics are perfect for the circumstances that we find ourselves in at the moment.

“Rise” by Faultlines is a masterpiece of music making. The band takes all their musical tools and employs them to write, and deliver a fresh song that connects with a listener’s emotions without having to resort to clichés or overused techniques. The use of layers of rhythm, while maintaining coherence in the song’s arrangement is outstanding, and will move audiences of all musical tastes. This is a perfect anthem for the age of Covid-19.

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For more information, please visit Faultlines website.


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