All it takes is 3 chords and a dream!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

CD Review: Deep 6 Holiday - Awake At The Funeral

Deep 6 Holiday - Awake At The Funeral
2008, Deep 6 Holiday

Tyler Azelton (vox, piano) and John Graves (bass) are lifelong friends, wife and husband and the heart of one of the most unique bands to cross my desk in 2008. Tyler Azelton has been performing since the age of three and had steady exposure to classical, jazz, Broadway and Opera while growing up. It wasn't until hear twenties that Azelton started listening to rock music. Consequently when she began composing rock music convention went out the window. In 2003, Azelton returned to Los Angeles after living in a New York City Hallway and began playing with Graves. Cut forward five years and we come to the release of Deep 6 Holiday's debut CD, Awake At The Funeral. Awake At The Funeral is a highly personal and eclectic album that you won't be able to put down.

Tyler Azelton might just have one of the best voices in popular music. Her ability to change sound, tone and emotive quality on a dime is almost singular. Her dusky, smoky alto is something to behold. She is the type of singer who could carry a bad song and make the worst song you've ever heard listenable. From a piano perspective she has some similarities to Tori Amos in writing style, although I have to say that Hazelton practices what Amos is perhaps capable of. It's hard to believe that Azelton has the concentration to just sing over what she's playing, much less sing well. The piano compositions here at times are so complex it's hard to imagine she's writing in the popular realm.

Water leads off Awake At The Funeral and serves as a chilling introduction to Azelton's voice and Deep 6 Holiday's dark yet enlightened sound. The piano part here sounds a little like something from a Tori Amos tune, but the composition is incredibly unique and circular without sounding in any way repetitive. Strong is more of a straightforward pop/rock tune but again eschews traditional ABABC song construction. Falling For You is a darkly sensuous tune and will keep you on the edge of your seat. It's Not Me makes you wonder how Azelton can manage to sing along to the obviously complicated piano part she's playing. Other highlights include Anastasia, the jazzy Breathe, the gorgeously orchestrated Empty Casket and the operatic Greta.

Finally, there is one song on Awake At The Funeral that deserves the sort of praise reserved for Beatles Love Songs. Will You Remind Me is primarily Tyler Azelton and her piano, and is far and away the highlight of highlights here. This is not a rock tune as it is presented here, but is the sort of song that could rise up most any chart in the popular realm. Expect Will You Remind Me to be licensed six ways to Sunday before long. This song is a classic.

Deep 6 Holiday is the most wonderfully enigmatic band I've had the honor to review in 2008, and Tyler Azelton might just have the best voice in popular music. Add in tremendous songwriting and a completely out of left field Zeitgeist and you have an album for the ages. Awake At The Funeral would make Deep 6 Holiday incredibly rich and famous in a perfect world. At the very least it should serve to help Deep 6 Holiday build a significant enough following to guarantee their on-going existence for a long time. Awake At The Funeral is definitely a Wildy's World Certified Desert Island Disc. Don't pass this one by.

Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Deep 6 Holiday at You can purchase a copy of Awake At The Funeral at

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