In a beautiful turn of events, rock-soul music finds a new identity through a local indie band.
In a small venue in Nashville, TN, Thad Cockrell begins the evening with his soulful lyrics and an acoustic guitar that somehow fills the crowded room. There is an air of anticipation, an undeniable excitement for the main event. The lights dim, the audience erupts. The silhouettes of the four-piece band take their places. The baseline cuts through the cheers of the crowd, followed by the drums and an explosive electric guitar riff.
Each song created a pulsing movement in the audience; everyone felt something: we were all a part of a movement greater than the room that contained it.
After a successful release of their single “Money” this year, The New Respects set themselves up for a strong five-song EP, released March 2017. There has been an empty lane for soul-rock music to have a revival, and this EP breathes life into a sometimes forgotten genre.
Family bands are often musically and vocally tenacious-there’s just something about that particular dynamic that creates a vibrant warmth throughout their music. Raised just south of Nashville in Franklin, TN, the Fitzgerald siblings (Darius and twins Alexandria and Alexis) and cousin Jasmine Mullen found themselves constantly surrounded by music from a young age. Jasmine is the daughter to Christian singer-songwriter Nicole C. Mullen and was influenced by her inspirational ballads that found the spotlight in the early ‘00s. The Fitzgeralds were homeschooled preacher’s kids raised on Motown and gospel. They blended their influences to create a sound that is completely their own.
While they are all still very young, they all have a seasoned musicianship that is incredibly rare…they way they perform exudes and impressive confidence in their craft. Alexandrea (guitarist) has this modern Jimi Hendrix vibe when she plays that is mesmerizing. Even so, she delicately balances out Alexis, her twin/bassist counterpart. Alexis holds the entire sound together with her intoxicating-yet-subtle baselines. Darius (on the drums) brings an uncanny, energetic spirit to the entire sound. Together, they find a way to let one another shine while somehow standing out individually.
In a recent interview with NPR on World Café, Alexis gracefully responded to how they have shaped themselves in their career and the environment they want to exude in their live shows:
“ Our music isn’t set up to be a specific idea of something, but freedom — freedom and fun and family. Wherever that will be welcome, that’s where we want to go.”
It’s easy to become fluid and conform to industry standards, but The New Respects still have a command on their individuality.
Be sure to check out their EP, Money, available on iTunes and Spotify.
They are touring! Find out if they are going to hit a city near you:
Hight, Jewly. “World Cafe Nashville: The New Respects.” NPR. NPR, 07 Feb. 2017. Web. 30 Apr. 2017.