Welcome back to Northwest Music Month 2016, where we’re spending each day of the month of June turning you onto a different local band for your music discovering pleasure. Some days they could be a well-regarded local that’s already got a following, and other days they could be a complete unknown that you’ve never heard of. Either way, all these bands are equally deserving of your attention. Today we return to the Emerald City to explore the material put forward by one Marsalis.
Hailing from Seattle, Marsalis is a four-piece band whose sound is refreshingly soulful. Their music could easily be described as “power-soul-pop,” with a strong emphasis on melody and emotion. Though they’re among the newer bands to be making a come-up in Seattle, they’ve certainly left their mark with such a small discography under their belts to date. Their 2016 self-titled Marsalis EP is required listening for anyone into locally-grown alternative rock with a strong hooky sensibility. Though Marsalis was only recently formed, the band members have been around for a while, performing in other Seattle bands, including Truce and Incura, and their experience definitely shows through in these arrangements and compositions.
Songs off this EP like “Feel Something” and “Where I Am” have strong memorable choruses to them, but are backed up with substantive instrumentation and lyrical content. The vocals brought by singer Dennis Zender are the icing on top of the cake, giving these songs the extra punch that they need to be put over the top and really stick in your head. His vocals soar over these songs incredibly well, and are mixed really well into the songs as to give them a lot of breathing room.
Admittedly, Marsalis doesn’t have a huge amount of grit or urgency to their brand of rock music, but that’s not really the point of their music. It’s mood music more than it’s music you can totally rock out too. They back up these songs with skillful playing and songwriting, and clearly know what they’re doing. We definitely look forward to hearing more from the band in the near future.