Story by Kelsey Boyd
Much of today’s music has lost its originality. Modern bands are beginning to sound more and more alike, often purposefully adapting their sound to fit popular styles of music in hopes of selling more records. It is becoming more difficult to single out unique artists who love their music, and who are not just in it for the money.
One local band is defying popular music trends in pursuit of a sound that’s all their own.
Deas Vail, a band from here in the River Valley, is breaking the mold. Wes Blaylock sings lead vocals and plays keys, Andy Moore plays electric guitar, Jeremy Burns plays bass guitar, Kelsey Harelson plays drums, and Laura Beth Hudson sings vocals and plays keys.
The five-person band met at Tech and found common ground in their love of music. Before long, they formed a band.
“We have a wide variety of musical interests we bring to the table,” Kelsey says. “It brings uniqueness to every song we do.”
Deas Vail is branching out and breaking musical barriers. They are seeking a more artistic approach to making music, rather than writing only what sells.
Although Deas Vail’s sound is difficult to classify, they describe their music as “Indie rock/pop rock.” Jeremy says they play “melodic rock with an emphasis on poetic lyrics.” Kelsey added that “soft vocals” and unusual rhythms enhance their one-of-a-kind sound.
Not only is their music unique, the name of the band itself is unusual. Deas Vail means God’s humble servant.
“Deas is Latin, and Vail is French,” Wes said. “We found the two words at the same time, put them together, and liked them.”
Deas Vail recently signed with a new record label out of Nashville called Brave New World Records. Michael Blanton and Dan Harrell are the co-owners, and have worked with such artists at Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, Bebo Norman, and Rich Mullins.
Mark Townsend serves as the band’s producer. He also produces Relient K, a popular Christian pop/punk band. Brave New World Records signed another Arkansas band from Fayetteville called the Wedding, who often play with Deas Vail.
Deas Vail wants to “build a fan base” with their new record label. They say getting as much exposure as possible is crucial for the future success of the band.
Deas Vail’s first CD, This Place is Painted Red, was self-produced with the help of David Barton from Moreland.
The band just released an EP in July, produced by Mark Townsend. The EP is called Collapse and contains a sampling of new and old songs from the band. Copies of Collapse can be picked up at Hastings in Russellville, Thy Word, and Cornerstone Jewelry.
Deas Vail’s most anticipated release, however, will be on store shelves early next year.
All the Houses Look the Same will be released in major book and music stores across the nation in February. The band says they are “really excited” about the upcoming release of the album. The new CD has been in the works for a while, and Deas Vail is eager to share their new music with fans across the southern U.S.
So far, Deas Vail has toured throughout the South, Midwest, and in parts of the Northeast, including playing at a showcase in New York City. While in the Big Apple, Deas Vail got the chance to work directly with representatives from the music industry. They were able to network and build relationships with music professionals from across the nation.
The band has high expectations for their future. Andy says he would like to see the band play “large, serious tours” with hopes of an international tour. The band aspires to produce more albums in the future and keep pushing to the next level musically. They would also like to see their fan base grow.
One of Deas Vail’s goals is to befriend their fans. After each show, they encourage the audience to meet and visit with them. The band is always willing to talk to fans, or anyone who has a passion for music.
Wes explains how Deas Vail gets a chance to “meet a lot of people.” He says, “We want to influence people in a positive way through who we are and what we’re doing.” Kelsey says the band’s attitudes and actions are important “on and off the stage.”
Deas Vail has maintained a humble attitude in the midst of their growing popularity. They hope to continue to expand their musical abilities and aim to reach more people with their music throughout the next few years.
Laura Beth sums up the band’s purpose when she says, “We want to create beautiful music as long as we can in hopes of inspiring people.”
To hear samples of Deas Vail’s music, com/deasvail. visit www.deasvail.com or www.myspace
Story by Kelsey Boyd