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Crossfade may not have conquered all of its demons, but the band is sounding a vehement battle cry.
The Columbia, S.C., outfit’s third album, due on Eleven Seven Music in July, delves into familiar lyrical themes of betrayal and isolation—but there’s also more than a hint of renewal and resolution.
“A lot has changed over the past three years,” offers lead vocalist and co-songwriter Ed Sloan. “Being down and out is something I’ve had to confront like never before. There’s been pain, but I’ve also learned to dwell less on the negative, so there’s a feeling of rebirth, too.”
The set’s 10 tracks, produced by the band, maintain the sonic thunderclap of Crossfade’s previous efforts, while propelling its guitar-grinding signature with a tapestry of orchestration and programming, and a flourish of keyboards, thanks to the addition of Les Hall to the permanent line-up, alongside Sloan, bassist Mitch James and drummer Will Hunt.
The evolution marks a tidal shift in Sloan’s previous role as Crossfade’s singular commandeering voice, but he is the first to admit that sharing duties with Hall was an organic, if not essential benchmark in the band’s growth.
The pair has been buddies since the seventh grade in South Carolina, where they were both regarded as young guitar prodigies. As an adult, Hall was writing music for film scores and serving as a session and touring musician for the likes of Trey Anastasio and 70 Volt Parade, Howie Day and a number of local Columbia, S.C., acts. In 2006. “Les came in, took me by the boot straps and helped me to step forward,” Sloan adds. Hall noted that “The goal was to discover something fresh that felt real. I’m not a fan of bare bones mixes, so I wanted to help Eddie make this epic, with a lot to hear, all packaged around a well-written song. If we had focused on what the band was and tried to recreate that, I don’t believe the songs would have come out right. When you have no limits, no expectations, things come out better.”