Half•Alive has quickly become one of my favorite bands since discovering them earlier this year. My friends are all tired of listening to them. I know every word to every song, and I’ve watched all their videos too many times to admit in writing. Last night I was lucky enough to get to see them perform at Newport Music Hall, Columbus Ohio.
If you have never heard of these guys until now it could be because they are so new. The band is a classic three-piece setup comprised of Brett Kramer on drums, J Tyler Johnson on bass guitar and lastly front man and lead vocals by Josh Taylor. Half•Alive hails from Long Beach California. There they first formed together in early 2017 eventually self-releasing their first EP titled: “3” which included three amazing electric indie pop tracks. Two of the songs: “Aawake at Night” and “The Fall” were followed up by equally incredible music videos. Following that, the band released their top single “Still Feel” along with another music video which truly separated this band’s image from others. Now, a little over a year later the video now has upwards of 28 million views. This would be the first single from their latest and only full-length album titled: “Now, Not Yet” released August 9th of this year. Half•Alive made their mark in music and are now on an international tour.
Half•Alive having a total track count of only 14 songs I wondered how they would fill their set and hoped for the best. I was not disappointed in the slightest. They played every song they had but one which was expected, but with sudden synth breakdowns, slow steady crescendos of the drums and bass, and expressive modern dancers moving with the music and lights I remained enthralled for what seemed like forever. The instrumental and vocal improvisation during the set gave me a whole new perspective and excitement towards them. Halfway into the set Josh Taylor and the dancers called upon crowd to learn the bizarre movements and counts with the beat to dance together. Their old-school indie-pop beats and smooth jazz movements make you question the music’s actual age. Their lyrics encompass the never-ending battle we all share; the internal struggle with and against the self. The subtle themes to their poetry are intangible but so relatable for everyone. Trust, self-doubt, actualization, passion, drive, balance, ethics, positivity. Half•Alive asks their audience the hard questions through every note in their music and maybe because of that I have found some of the answers I was looking for.