When I first saw the album cover for Centerpiece’s eponymous debut EP it instantly reminded me of a Crowded House record artwork; a beautiful painting of a field of sunflowers and wispy clouds and blue skies which immediately evokes that warm and happy feeling when life is good.
The five-piece describe their sound as ‘Midwest indie rock’ and are from Nebraska, however they recorded the EP in Boston, which for those of you who aren’t in the know, is a hefty five-hour flight away. To travel that sort of distance to record your first EP is indicative of the Centerpiece’s commitment to their material, demonstrating their sheer drive and determination, which can only serve them well in the coming years.
As for general impressions, Centerpiece is a great summer listen. I’m sat here in my office, windows wide open, the sun beaming in and a cool, crisp Kentish breeze passing by and I feel right at home listening to this EP. It’s a record with a summer vibe. We all have them, perhaps more in our teenage years when you’re escaping from school with your friends and you have that song or album you all listen to that helps makes summer feel like summer. This is one of those records. It’s light, energetic and infectiously optimistic. Imagine driving down the country lanes or along the beach with your windows down, Centerpieces blaring out of your speakers with your friends laughing, enjoying life and the freedom you’re living in.
Vocalist Will Conner has a wonderful harmonic tune to his voice that would be misplaced in any other genre of music. Each song has a nice length to them, averaging three and a half minutes a song but every one has a fantastic structure to it, changing pace, rhythm and have been clearly well constructed and thought out. These aren’t some hastily thrown together summer hits using a mirage of power chords and repetition. Paul Knapp’s guitar solos are very fitting for their style, especially in the opening track ‘Take It Slow’.
If you haven’t gathered by now, I am a very big fan of Centerpiece from track one and by track five I want to show everyone I know this band. I urge you to check them out via Facebook and Bandcamp and let them be a part of your summer.