New Hotness: Ambulette

!{border:1px solid black;} (Maura Davis of Ambulette; Photo by Prin Amorapanth)!

.sara advised me that I was hoarding music and new stuff I’d been listening to instead of sharing with the class. So I’ve decided to start a weekly “column” as it were where I’ll tell the class about something I’ve found musically that I think you should peep.

This could be entitled “New Hotness: Maura Davis,” but I figured that would be misinterpreted by most readers.

Years ago Courtney used to live in Richmond. And at that time she new a guy named Cam. Cam played in a band called Denali [ official | label/jade tree | myspace ]. A young four piece fronted by the incomparable Maura Davis, Denali mixed a variety of sounds and styles that to me sound like a female version of Jeff Buckley jamming with Radiohead circa right before the OK Computer recording sessions with a little indie thrown in for good measure.

Courtney played me some Denali back in the early Rotoscope days, and it was cool but I kinda forgot about it for a few years. About two years ago I rediscovered them, only to discover that the band had broken up, and Maura had formed a new band called Ambulette [ official | label/astralwerks | myspace ]. Ambulette was also briefly called Bella Lea.

Anyway, The Lottery EP [itunes link] is their first release. It shows off the superb range from Maura and the arrangements have become stripped down from the Denali era. Some of the songs embody a bouncier, brighter feel than the Denali material did. “I’ve Got More” [ video on YouTube ] and “Seconds Until Midnight” are the two uptempo tracks on the five song EP and both show off not only the dynamic range of Maura’s voice, but of the entire band as well. Explosive choruses and driving verse riffs rock out for four minutes a pop. The EP ends with a beautiful interpretation of Jacques Brel’s Ne Me Quitte Pas (translated to English as If You Go Away) which is far beyond Maura’s young 26 years. For anyone familiar with Nina Simone’s cover of the song, you’ll appreciate this interpretation of it. Maura simply explodes with a vocal assault backed by Jonny Greenwood styled tremolo guitar strumming backing her up towards the end of the song.

This is just their demo EP. The full length should be out this year and if the EP is any demonstration, it’ll be one hell of a record.

Further Listening

"I’ve Got More" in studio performance [YouTube video from Fearless Music, NYC]

Ambulette MySpace Page (recommend “Seconds Until Midnight”)

The Lottery EP (Ambulette) [ itms | Amazon ]
Denali (Denali) [ itms | Amazon ]
The Instinct (Denali) [ itms | Amazon ]

Free Denali Demo from Jade Tree

  1. jenn says:

    i heart denali! i will check out this new venture, but not for the hotness. hehe.

  2. Kazim says:

    Keep up the great habits. The peace of mind you can get conmig from a place of unselfishness, awareness, enlightenment, and just plain old love will give one, what I think all of us are wanting and in need of. In the words of that archaic band (REO Speed Wagon) Keep Pushin' On!

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