Polaris Rose has been characterized as alt. rock, but I don’t call them that. Maddie Elyse and Peter Anthony, better known as Polaris Rose, create music that I call The Polaris Rose Sound because there is nothing like it. These two young singer/songwriters bring progressive rock, hot jazz, metal and pop together with male-female congruence and musical brilliance that creates a whole that is much larger than the sum of its parts. And they do it in the studio and on stage with equal ease. There new EP, Oceansongs, is a megadose of the flowing harmonies, metal guitar and high concept lyrics that has made this enormously talented pair a flaming comet in the star-crowded sky of LA music.
Opening with “Goddess”, a cut kicked off with a drum and guitar explosion like a fast-moving storm, it quickly slides into a dreamy waterscape woven with Peter’s voice and guitar and Maddie’s backup echo and bass. A call to a love-hate goddess, Peter chronicles his beautiful anguish and we feel it with the rise and fall of longing and anguish in the surge and backwash of guitar and vocals:
Goddess, you make me crumble to my knees/to worship you.
Beautiful, too much to take/ velvet eyes I cannot shake.
Goddess, you use your eyes like laser beams/to shoot straight through.
Oh, I need you to love me for who I am.../If you can
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The EP then moves to “Hurricanes” which changes tempo and shifts voice to Maddie, whose vocals are hurricane strong but delicate, as if she distilled her voice down to its feminine essence and then unleashed it. Maddie told me on Music FridayLive! that she first recorded it as a belt, but it didn’t seem right. It works now, shifting from a delicate female voice in lines like Those OceanSongs, they were hurricanes/ and they dashed us on the rocks./It's so cruel, but I'll just capture myself a fool to strong and determined in the refrain, Bury you beneath the waves/just the way you want it, darling/Treat you like a memory/just the way you want it, darling, bolstered with Peter’s metallic guitar riffs , fiery drums and Maddie’s forward-leaning bass notes. Brilliant.
The mood shifts lighter in “Ocean Ending” with a solid drum welcoming the blended voices of Maddie and Peter extolling the pleasure of the beach. Life feels good they sing, as the drumbeat mimics the slap of waves and a keyboard and guitar carry the song relentlessly forward. As Peter takes the solo, the sound of waves answer his vocals: yeah its ok because the ocean loves me. It certainly does, and so do I.
Two other songs round out the EP, neither of them ocean-themed but a perfect fit with the center of the work. “Orchards” a marvelous melody of Maddie’s, moving her voice up and down the register as Peter’s guitar riffs and background voice ads depth and dimension to images of walking and exploring the land. “Bluejean worry”, is a soft rocker built on Peter’s high concept but down to earth lyrics and wonderfully detailed guitar work and Maddie’s bass line weaving in and out of the renowned Kyle Feher’s drumming. It all fits into a whole that they plan to expand out with a full length album. I can hardly wait. Polaris Rose is a skyrocket gathering momentum and Oceansongs just lit the afterburner.