Album Review: June Divided “Body Wars”

By: Ryan Camuto

Philly indie rock outfit June Divided recently released their 2nd EP Body Wars and is it for sure going to lead them into the mainstream with their predilection for tight hooks, fun melodies and overall exemplary arrangements. Opening track “Firestarter,” comes in with a fun beat and solid vocals from singer Melissa Menago. The catchy hooks through the chorus and the upbeat rhythms pull you in immediately and really help get the blood flowing.

As the EP progresses, “I Didn’t Mind,” turns to a slightly more indie-dance feeling, but full flavored with delayed guitars that add some airy depth, keeping the sound from being one dimensional or stale. The electronically treated drums help the sound sit between dance club and indie-rock coffee shops in an eclectic and intriguing way. I wouldn’t go as far as to call June Divided Pop Music, but there is a very mainstream quality to their sound that hopefully will help them reach an even larger audience as their EP finds circulation.

Blending the electronic elements with indie rock flair and hints of pop music, “Take,” pulls out the stops with a riveting guitar solo and breakbeat drum fills. Menago’s voice is the focal point of June Divided’s sounds but the way she sits so perfectly in between the instruments is an example how taking charge of the track without overpowering the rest of the ensemble.

As the title track “Body Wars,” comes in, the full sound of piano chords and distance riffs begin what sounds like a huge ballad. The bouncing vocal melodies carry the track with that slower, larger sound that is synonymous with ballads, but the arrangement offers more excitement than your typical three chord power ballads.

June Divided is an amalgamation of pop, indie and dance in all the best ways. Between the infectious beats, fun rhythms and approaches to inject some punk rock flavors with some riffs and solos, June Divided is the perfect medium between mainstream and “hipster cool” status. I urge you to take a listen to Body Wars, out now.

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