The past few years have seen the rise of several strong female indie vocalists. With Kate Crutchfield of Waxahatchee, Francis Quinlan of Hop Along, Laura Stevenson of Laura Stevenson & the Cans and Monica Martin of local faves PHOX steadily ascending into the limelight, more and more groups are trying to harness the power behind female singers and lyricists.
Building on Buildings fits right in with the aforementioned artists. The project began with vocalist-guitarist Erin Fuller and guitarist-bassist Connie Ward. From there, the duo went on to recruit a full band and record their self-titled EP, which was released in June.
Of the three songs on the EP, the second, "Invoice," might be the best representation of Building on Buildings' sound, despite only running for about two minutes. The track begins with acoustic and electric guitars playing slightly fractured parts in harmony; it's a bit reminiscent of a Bon Iver or Volcano Choir instrumental lead-in.
From there, the focus moves to Fuller's vocals, which demand your attention without forcing themselves on you. In other words, her singing works along with the instrumental parts instead of overpowering them. Although this seems like something that would be intuitive for singers, that isn't always the case. So it's refreshing to hear someone who can sing as an instrument and as a lyricist.
As "Invoice" starts building up, one of the first things to notice is the vocal harmonies. Not only are they one of the coolest aspects of the song, they help move the track seamlessly into a feel closer to straight-ahead rock.
Something else to note about the release is that Amanda Rigell of Madison's Count this Penny sings some of the vocal harmonies on the third track, "Dead Snow." I'm not surprised the Rigell appears on the EP because her voice goes well with Building on Buildings' sound. But Rigell also probably appreciates the great deal of potential Building on Buildings has to keep expanding their success.
I'm personally a fan of bands comfortable enough with their own sound to write short songs that can catch people in only a minute or two, which is one of the reasons "Invoice" immediate spoke to me. And it certainly does its job. Overall, it's a solid track that merits multiple plays.
MadTracks highlights and provides MP3s of songs performed by local musicians. All tracks here are provided with permission of the artist. If you are a musician based in the Madison metro area and are interested in sharing your work as a MadTrack, please send a message.