_ECHOSEVEN’s latest single offers a transparent view of the band’s growth and evolution over the past year and a half.
Moncton hard rockers _ECHOSEVEN made their introduction by way of the single, Everything, back in May of last year. The track, a three and a half minute head-nodder that quickly introduced two defining elements of the band’s sound – a heavy ass guitar riff and the contrasting yet equally complementary vocals of singer Stefanie Roy – has since become the gauge by which we, the listeners, and they, the band, can track the growth and evolution of this still young ensemble.
There are currently three versions of Everything available online. And each one represents a new direction for the band, even if the changes are sometimes minor. Here is a breakdown of the song’s development leading up to the latest version released October 22.
Everything (May 2020)
The track description states: “EVERYTHING” is a song about going through hard times, being broken down to ground zero and finding out who your true and real friends/ family/ helpers/ supporters are and confronting them on their motives and intentions. When the smoke clears, who’s left standing next to you? Foreshadowing? You can draw your own conclusions as we work our way through this song’s evolution.
The lineup on this track features Stefanie Roy (vocals and guitar), Darrell Vautour (rapper), Justin Edgar Larracey (guitar), Andre Leblanc (guitar), Jamie Warren (bass) and Allon McCall (drums). The mix is raw and edgy. The energy is big. The recording doesn’t do the drums justice, but that’s not all that unusual. Drums can be tough. There are plenty of strong recordings where the drums have suffered. That’s just the nature of the beast. The drums, that is.
Everything Redux Version 2.021 (February 2021)
This version comes with a bit of a disclaimer that states: While you technically can’t get a second chance to make a first impression, “EVERYTHING REDUX VERSION 2.021” is _ECHOSEVEN committing to their new sound: a blend of hard rock/metal riffs, haunting melodic vocals, hard hitting drums, while keeping the introspective lyrical message about personal discovery, perseverance, and overcoming life challenges. A combination that will appeal to current fans and gain the attention of new ones. The band also chose to make clear, _ECHOSEVEN is now a 5 piece female fronted Hard Rock/ Metal band with NO rap elements. (Yes, “no” was in fact written in capital letters.)
The lineup on this track features Stefanie Roy (vocals/guitar), Justin Edgar Larracey (guitar) and Allon McCall (drums), with new members Dylan Osmond and Mike Brooks replacing earlier members Andre Leblanc and Jamie Warren on guitar and bass.
There are a few substantial changes on this redux version. The rapping is gone, replaced by additional lyrics for Roy. The mix this time around is a lot thinner than on the debut version. There is a noticeably flat note sung on the chorus before the breakdown phrase and a lot of the punch was taken out of the drums giving an almost programmed feel to McCall’s playing. But since he was the one who mixed and mastered this and the previous version, let’s assume it was intentional. Still trying to dial things in. The honesty on display here is commendable. And this version works, despite a few production hiccups. And more importantly it serves the band well to highlight this new lineup, this new version of a band still very much in its infancy.
Every-Thing (October 2021)
Song title – the same, but different. At this point, we know what to expect, somewhat. We’re all familiar with the song. Or are we? While it’s hard to say whether or not this will be the definitive version of this song – fool me once and all that – it is without a doubt the most fleshed out arrangement yet.
With the exception of the first version’s rap break, which I must say I really enjoyed, Roy’s voice has been the glue that has held this track together through lineup changes, various arrangements and production experiments. The experimenting didn’t stop when the band reentered the studio to lay down this latest version, but it probably should now. They’ve hit the mark. They’ve found their groove. Found their direction. Whatever you want to call it.
The lineup on this track features Stefanie Roy (vocals/guitar), Justin Edgar Larracey (guitar) and Allon McCall (drums), with Marcus LeBlanc on guitar and Bobby Hope on bass.
With the basic song structure in place, Every-Thing excels largely through its production values that blend programmed beats, layered counter melodies and some clever mixing to lift this already strong single to a third tier. Far more imaginative than what we heard on the song’s previous versions, this latest incarnation of the band’s debut single eliminates any weak links that may have existed on Everything and Everything Redux Version 2.021. In doing so, it also presents the band as having potentially landed on the sound they have been searching for from the beginning. Powerful, rich and sonically deep.
Hats off to the band for sharing this evolutionary process with their audience. This level of transparency and the new single itself are both worthy of applause. I’m curious to see what comes next.