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Ezra Thomas- “Road to Zion”

Ezra Thomas- “Road to Zion”

promiseland coverpromiseland coverEzra Vancil’s previous gospel band experience is pretty prevalent in his track “Road to Zion” (if the title wasn’t a dead giveaway). However, it’s not the lyrics that give away this influence so much as his actual sound. The 80’s hair-band guitar tone somehow meshes with acoustic guitars, ride-heavy drum beats, and a vocal style that meets halfway between Peter Gabriel and a 90’s hard rock band. If this sounds interesting to you, then you’re probably going to like Ezra Vancil.

As far as the recordings go, the audio quality is great. The guitars, drums, and bass are all sharp and stand out on their own. You can hear every note and beat vividly. It sounds basic, but it can be hard for producers to engineer these qualities. The mixing levels are also right where they should be and Ezra doesn’t have to pull any production tricks in order to sustain a note. He’s naturally talented.

If I have any criticism, I suppose the styles that Ezra Vancil pools from are all a little dated. All of the characteristics I named above were very “in” at one time, but really haven’t perpetuated to a point where their revival will be considered “fresh.” However, I could be very wrong about this. Ezra has been receiving positive feedback on his SoundCloud page, so his style clearly resonates with an audience. I can say with confidence that his production is on the higher-tier of SoundCloud users and that he has the ability to articulate his song ideas clearly, which is an underrated attribute for self- engineered artists.

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Ezra Thomas began in 2000 with founding members Ezra Vancil and Aaron Thomas. Soon after their release of the debut album “weight of being” they experienced a sudden wave of regional success, showcasing at SXSW, being named a top DIY artist in songwriter magazine and landing a publishing deal in Japan.

When they went into the studio for their second album “Promise Land,” it was evident that lead singer and songwriter Ezra was facing a loosing battle with alcoholism while dealing with a divorce from his first wife. The album took three years to complete and by the end of production the relationship between Ezra and Aaron was strained to it’s breaking point.  They decided to part ways and Promise Land was never officially released.

In 2012 songs from Promise Land began showing up in TV and film such as Sober House, Celebrity Rehab and Skins, and a new younger audience embraced the forgotten album. Around that time Ezra began dealing with his addiction and released a third Ezra Thomas Album, Sinners & Saints without his partner Aaron.

Sinners & Saints is a patch quilt of an album, recorded in different locations, with different engineers and frames of mind but holds together in it’s themes of spirituality and love.


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Twitter Account Name: ezravancil
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