Formed in February 2011, Defining Times are a four-piece out of Oklahoma City crafting impressive, melodic rock music. I first came across the band thanks to Noisetrade, a site that is becoming more and more essential in helping me discover new music I otherwise might not come across. The band makes a note that they love all kinds of music and genres, but it is melodic rock the likes of Doves, The Maccabees and Elbow that best describes their sound at this point. Excellent company to be in.
Separate Tongues is their third EP, following up 2011's self-titled project. Across its seven tracks the band explores themes of loss, from a jilted former lover watching a new man take his place to the comings and goings of people throughout the course of our lives, be it by passing or just losing touch. Heavy themes but they often make for the most effective music. Opener "Kind Words" is a slow burner, starting with piano and ambient noises as Chase Kerby laments seeing a new man filling the roles he once did. Kerby's vocals on the track are filtered, almost as if they were sung over an old telephone line and it makes for an interesting contrast when the next song kicks in with crystal clear vocals.
That next song is "Swan Dive", one of the best on the EP, one of many featuring the piano work of now former member Zach Zeller. There are harder rock moments here, specifically on "Streets" and gentleness, best exemplified on personal favorite "Outlaw". "Driving Into Smoke" with its shuffling drum beats and falsetto harmonies is another highlight of a stand-out EP. Without a doubt a band to keep an eye on.
Separate Tongues was self-released digitally November 13, 2012.