WINDSOR DRIVE – Windsor Drive
Glad to see German label AOR Heaven expanding their signing horizons into newer bands from the United States like Windsor Drive. This is a four-piece from Wisconsin that have slowly built a following through a series of EP releases since their 2007 beginnings, taking advantage of chances to open for a number of independent pop/ alternative rock artists like Imagine Dragons, The Rocket Summer, and American Idol winner Kris Allen among others. On this self-titled full length, you’ll get 11 songs of dream pop/ indie rock – the music has a soothing quality in terms of the hook and main chord choices, while the vocals are also very enchanting and addictive in that Coldplay / One Republic way.
The background vocals and chorus for "Bridge" just has that West Coast/ Eagles-like charm, while the guitars sound like you are going for a weekend stroll on the beach, the wind shimmering through your hair. When they pull out a ballad like "Under the Weather", it’s not a typical build up to impact arrangement – it’s another steady, tender effort where the guitars and vocal melodies meld in alternative rock/ indie pop brilliance. A semi-symphonic intro and dance-oriented keyboards set the tone for "Wide Eyed at Midnight", a winner for commercial radio if Windsor Drive choose to go down that path – the tempo and magical hook the stuff that sustains careers.
Talent comes through if musicians understand the genre they perform in and spend time focusing on all the right nuances and dynamics to deliver upper tier material. I know plenty of people who would seek this out – it’s definitely on the lighter side of the rock spectrum, but engaging and addictive all the same.