Feature Friday: El West

El WestFeature by Sarah Spohn

With a band name like EL West, it’s only right that brothers Bryant and Ricky Powell took the path less traveled, veered left alongside fellow musicians Thomas Brenneman and Marty Welker and formed the Phoenix alternative rock band.

Like their name suggests, the sounds of this foursome are anything but straight and narrow. Influenced by indie mainstays like Radiohead and Broken Social Scene, EL West creates a mosaic of exhilarating, introspective soundscapes. The alternative rock group’s main vocals come from hard-to-pin frontman Bryant.

After first listen, it’s hard to say if the sound is coming from a burly Brit, a fresh-faced Scottish gent, or the good ol’ fashioned All American dude. The sound throws you for a loop, but demands you listen to the mystery. He’s been compared to Brandon Flowers of The Killers, with dreamlike sequences, alluring atmospheric songs, and brilliant contrast between masterful vocals and lush background music.

El West’s newest released track “Thin Air” debuts via Pure Volume, with their EP release party on Dec. 15 in the band’s out-west hometown of Phoenix, Arizona.

The band’s song “Olivine” is without-a-doubt the perfect soundtrack to a wonderfully quirky indie coming-of-age movie. You know those defining scenes where the recently dumped protagonist learns they can live life on their own … or the scene where the loner finally finds someone who can relate to them and their weirdness …the scenes where the audience discovers the path to happiness isn’t always clear cut. Sometimes in order for happiness and dreams to come true, all it takes is a little desert diversion, a nice trip via El West.


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