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Fresh EPs from Maine-based artists: Gentle Temper, Doug Hoyt, Fatalview

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I’m constantly impressed with the quantity and quality of music being created by Maine-based artists. We have an extraordinary lineup of talent in this state and it’s a privilege to be encouraged to tell you about their activities in these pages. This week, we give a listen to recently released EPs from three very different homegrown artists.

Gentle Temper – “Same Blood”

This midcoast-based indie-folk duo, consisting of multi-instrumentalists Marion Earley and Ryan Meier, have just issued a must hear five-track EP, available on Bandcamp, and all digital streaming services. Titled after the duo’s new single, “Same Blood” was recorded in 2019 with producer and engineer Dan Cardinal at Dimension Sound Studios in Jamaica Plain, MA, near Somerville, where the duo were living at the time.

Gentle Temper’s sound is cut from a cloth not far removed from that of The Lumineers or Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.

Earley and Meier say the single “Same Blood” is about a desire to accept things as they are after a period of trying to escape feelings of loss and isolation. Earley’s lead vocal and deeply personal lyrics are accompanied by joyous and melodic acoustic guitar, backing vocals, and percussion, providing an upbeat contrast.

An earlier single, “Triple Dog Dare,” is a reminder that we all possess the power to shape our own destiny. In a perfect world, the instantly likeable “Good Talk” would be a number one hit. It’s infectious acoustic folk pop at its best. The duo’s vocals blend beautifully on the chorus as Meier takes the lead. “Safe Bet” begins tentatively with a vocal and guitar strum before it picks up the pace and opens wide. Earley and Meier’s vocals are at the forefront on the dreamy “New Neighbors.”

Gentle Temper have been nominated for New Artist of the Year and twice nominated for Folk Artist of the Year by the Boston Music Awards. They say they’ve spent much of the last year writing new music and expanding their live setup. Earley and Meier make every moment count on this wonderful EP.

Doug Hoyt – “Rolling Together”

Rocker Doug Hoyt is well known in the Bangor area for his former bands Spilled Milk and Sister Blue. Hoyt says his new six-track EP “Rolling Together,” available for download at www.DougHoytMusic.com was influenced and inspired by the sounds he heard on top 40 radio during the ‘70s and ‘80s.

“I hope my music and help listeners to turn off their distractions, relax and remember a simpler time,” Hoyt tells The Maine Edge.

Hoyt handles all of the instruments and vocals on “Rolling Together,” which was recorded last winter and spring at his Sounds Like Music studio in South Portland.

“Love is Gonna Come Around” and “By My Side” are roots-rockers that sound like Hoyt could have written for John Mellencamp. The latter features riffs that might make Pete Townshend smile.

The country-rocker “Hold Your Hand” recalls a time when multiple genres impacted the top 40 chart. The title track is a Springsteen-esque love song with a sing-along chorus. “Turning Around” is about a man realizing how fortunate he is to have such a love sent from above, while the protagonist in “Back to Me” wakes up alone and explains why things will be different if she’ll give him another chance.

Hoyt’s music harkens back to a simpler era when the good times were accompanied by a soundtrack of feel-good songs.

Fatalview – “Presence Unknown”

This four-piece nu-metal/groove metal band formed in late 2016 at the University of Maine where some of the music on this introductory EP was recorded. College roommates Ben Barto (drums/vocals), Brad Bell (guitars, backing vocals), Sam Hiller (guitars), and Tyler Charlton (bass) co-wrote and co-produced the four tracks on this dark and heavy release.

In the interest of full disclosure, this genre is beyond my scope in terms of my ability to get a firm grasp on the music, but these dudes make an impressive noise. This self-released, self-produced project sounds like a major label metal record.

According to a Q & A conducted via email, Fatalview combine a variety of personal influences to create their own unique and fierce sound. Fierce with a capital F. We’re talking heavy distortion, guitars tuned low, and vocals both shouted and sung that collectively creates a tsunami of sound.

“Presence Unknown” actually slipped out last year on all digital platforms, including iTunes and Amazon. Since then, the band says they’ve written a bunch of new material, including the non-EP single “Breaking Point,” released earlier this year.

Last modified on Tuesday, 20 July 2021 07:15

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