The duo of Western Alliance – James Gray and Lorne Walton – began writing together initially with a view to playing festivals. As writing progressed they decided to bring in guest musicians and vocalists to create the musical vision they had in mind. The band then performed on the Scottish festival circuit to a wave of critical acclaim.
It was at this point the duo decided to focus on producing an album for release. Sometime back the duo of Western Alliance released the album “Confident Dancing”, featuring 12 diverse tracks ranging from lush cinematic orchestral arrangements to soulful, down-tempo tunes, all subtly blended and fused together with retro electro and deep house.
James Gray and Lorne Walton created an exceptional, stand-alone album which presents itself unrestrained and unobtrusive, yet enthusiastic in its rhythm and mood. Deep and smooth House-based tracks make for a relaxed, summery mood, and an ideal evening sundowner.
But just a flick of the volume knob can make some of these tracks transform themselves into intense melodic grooves. This happens from the second half of the album with tracks such as “Deathray”, “Confident Dancing”, “Shine Before Your Eyes” and “Best Of It”, ready to jump out at you.
But if you desire your groove with soulful vocals, then tune into the opening track “Stronger”, which has a powerful retro vibe just waiting to push you across the dance floor – Which brings me to my two favorite tracks on the album, “Sometimes I Think” and “Over and Over”.
Slightly melancholy, mellow and mesmerizing, these arrangements pull you in with their slow simmering ambient atmospheres and lusciously delivered vocals. “Over and Over” is bathed in an almost acid jazz soundscape featuring a warm and thick slumbering acoustic bass, and heart-stopping breathy vocals to die for.
In three words, Western Alliance has put together an album that is sophisticated, worldly and charming. An elegant combination of songs with various interesting tempos – overall the music is soft, groovy and layered; the rhythms are mid-tempo to downbeat.
This album sounds pastel – like a watercolor masterpiece painted with sound. However depending on your mood, the volume you play it at could change its perspective – unwind or rewind, you choose!
MORE ABOUT WESTERN ALLIANCE :
James is a composer for Film and Television. To date James has written critically acclaimed and award nominated music for Ad’s Documentaries, Feature films and clients such as BBC, Channel 4, The Discovery Channel to name but a few. He also owned and ran a commercial recording and rehearsal studio Musicworks, in Oban, where the Confident Dancing album was written and mixed.
Started out in music production in 1996 with his first release, Eternal by Noasphere on Beluga Records. Over the next few years Lorne released 10 vinyl E.Ps of self-written and produced house and techno under various guises including Noasphere, Mr Blunt and Western Alliance, picking up some radio play and good press along the way in Mixmag, Loaded and Generator mags. Not content with that, he also launched his own club night Babel at various venues in Scotland for many years, featuring DJs from the Sub Club, The Tunnel.