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Ghost Canyon

Title - Walking Sideways
Artist - Vakili Band

For those unaware, fronted by powerhouse vocalist/songwriter/guitarist Lily Vakili, Vakili Band released Walking Sideways on February 25th, 2022.

The New Jersey-based band’s musical touchstones include Patti Smith, Joan Jett, and Brandi Carlile, and come with a smattering of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” liberation, David Bowie’s chameleon-like “Changes,” and the New York Dolls’ attitude thrown in for good measure.

A force of nature unafraid to express her beliefs, Vakili lives her life as a whole, refusing to compartmentalize, either in her career or her diverse music.

1. Walking Sideways
2. Sharp Devil
3. We Gor Dreams
4. Freeman
5. Rachel
6. She Wants What
7. When 21
8. Facial Recognition Technology
9. Dreamy Dreamer
10. Father’s Son

Opening on the rock swagger of the title track Walking Sideways (which was inspired by Vakili spotting a woman emerging from a bar so tipsy that she was walking Sideways, exploring her inner thoughts on the way to arriving at that sad but defiant state) and the harmonica-driven, Stones-esque Sharp Devil and then we get the old-school Springsteen vibe of We Got Dreams, whilst the inspiration for the slow burn balladry, at first, melodic and forthright the next, of Freeman comes from seeing a prisoner working in the fields, respecting that individual as a human being.

Next up are two raucous, alt-rock feminist anthems, first the Chrissie Hynde-imbibed Rachel, the second a growling Patti Smith-esque She Wants What and they are in turn followed by the delicately jaunty When 21 (which looks at the younger generation with the wisdom of someone who’s been there, inspired by the experience of her non-neurotypical, autistic son), the uniquely entitled, mid-tempo rocker Facial Recognition Technology (Is it a brave new world, or a trojan horse), the album rounding out on the lushly countrified, choral-esque, foot-tapping balladry of Dreamy Dreamer, coming to a close on the foot to the floor, harmonica-driven rocker Father’s Son.

Vakili’s musical career is a testament to the non-conformist beliefs with which she was raised. Born in Honduras and raised in Thailand, Puerto Rico, and Iowa, Vakili worked in theatre and went on to carve out a successful career as a biotech lawyer while continuing to nurture all manner of dreams, including making music.

The fifth of six siblings, Vakili picked up the guitar when she was 14. Her first songs started as poems, a practice that continues to this day, with Vakili bringing lyrics and a core musical structure to the band, who then collaborate in building the desired arrangement.

Walking Sideways shows the growth of Vakili as a songwriter, vocalist, and bandleader, and the group as a whole – including lead guitarist and occasional songwriting collaborator Ben St. Jack, harmonica player Joel Dorow and the rock-solid rhythm section featuring drummer Gordon Kuba and bassist Matt Jovanis – since their last release, 2018’s Oh, Alright.

Official Purchase Links

Vakili Band - Father’s Son (Official Video)

Official Website

Vakili Band @ Facebook

Vakili Band @ Instagram

Vakili Band @ YouTube





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