Across The Board (ATB) the award-winning Canadian pop rock and Americana band featuring multi-instrumentalist musicians with over 160 YouTube videos, a debut album and an upcoming EP, have released their latest video single, entitled “Are You Really Here”. This group blends musical tone and vocal harmonizing perfectly. Their simple, but captivating melodies meshes so well with the vocals and music, forging a subtle yet powerful overall sound. ATB are both passionate musicians and songwriters, and it shows once again on this devastingly beautiful mid-tempo cracker of a song.Across The Board’s guitar-driven sound is the alt pop-rock equivalent of comfort food, indulgent and filling in how satisfyingly familiar it is.
The ATB formula has gratifyingly stayed more or less the same as their previous stunning works – a combination of luscious guitar workouts and Jacqueline Auguste’s warm, sincere voice telling a dream-like story from a point-of-view that’s always questioning things. Another strong-point though, though, is the band’s earnest overall tone that defines ATM musical profile: alt pop-rock that’s big, loud, and ambitious enough to be arena rock but without letting go of its intimate homespun essence.
Few bands manage to hit the above stated equilibrium as frequently and as precisely as Across The Board, some either become too loud, while others descend into the solemnly contrived. On “Are You Really Here”, ATB come across as profoundly contemplative, yet dynamically powerful, in a song that steadily builds towards it’s unrelenting crescendo, culminating in a blazing guitar solo by Damien. The guitarist goes off on one of his guitar foray, starting with a muscular melody and embellishing it with brilliant touch-an-go tangents, without ever losing the main thread.
The way the song is recorded really draws out every aspect of Across The Board’s songwriting and performance skillset, capturing the rough-hewn instinctiveness of the guitar-driven music, and the sense of warm familiarity in the vocals. Actually, what makes “Are You Really Here” an engrossing listen comes precisely from savoring the balance between its musical and lyrical, twists and turns. This track is yet another logical and exceptional addition to an impressively consistent catalog.
More About Across The Board: Jacqueline Auguste, lead vocalist and songwriter for Across The Board, comes from a concert and stage band background and plays multiple instruments from sax to flute to guitars and keys. Paul Nanuwa, drummer and co-writer, sings, plays bass and keys and composes. Bass guitarist Andy, comes from a drumming background and took up bass once the band moved from the internet world out into live performances. And finally, Damien, the newest addition to the group, plays lead guitar and sings—coming from a jazz and gospel background.