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Farfetcher / Press

“The Cave, a dog-friendly bar in Chapel Hill, was our next stop. The 8:00 p.m. early show featured The Starlings, a Seattle-based band with a fantastic folk/country sound full of lush harmonies. Their music was enhanced by a guest appearance from Duke graduate and guitar player/sound engineer Julian Martlew.”

“Along with Fleet Foxes and the Moondoggies, The Maldives' members belong to a thriving Seattle roots-music scene. They've quickly become a popular draw, regularly selling out clubs here. With nine people in its lineup, it's one of the area's biggest bands in more ways than one. Having such a large group by the station for an in-studio performance presents a few challenges. While I was certain that all nine members would fit into KEXP's performance space, I wasn't as sure if they'd get comfortable with the set-up in the hour preceding the performances — or that we could do justice to every band member in the overall mix. I should have known that I had nothing to worry about, though, with KEXP studio engineer Julian Martlew behind the control board; he captured every instrument clearly in the mix.”

“Precise sound balance is crucial to the piece working, and sound engineers Al Swanson and Julian Martlew merit special mention for keeping each voice strand audible, even when punctuated by trickily timed percussive and brass outbursts, with the whole business often floating over prerecorded sound effects and sonic backdrops.”