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Until June

Until June

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Album Review

As part of the unique music marketing aesthetic in the mid-2000s, music fans could literally walk into Starbucks and buy CDs from their favorite hip adult-oriented artists. This melodic, energetic, and crisply produced debut by the powerful harmonic rock trio Until June — consisting of Phoenix-bred brothers Josh Ballard (piano and vocals) and Dan Ballard (guitar) and drummer Daniel Dempsey — wasn't available there, but the coffee giant played a big part in their discovery. L.A. was still the place where rock dreams came true for starving musicians, and Josh was serving coffee at a local Starbucks when famed engineer and producer Brian Garcia (Kelly Clarkson, Avril Lavigne, Our Lady Peace) told him he "looked like a musician." Garcia loved Until June's demo tape, ultimately produced their debut, and the rest fits into the decade's mainstream rock story that launched other great bands like Keane, Coldplay, the Fray, etc. As a side note, Until June may also be the only band in history named after its collective "make it or break it" deadline — had they not been signed in June 2006, they might have packed it in. The powerful "oo-ah-hoo-hoo" wordless vocal hook that swirls around Josh Ballard's passionate, Kevin Cronin-like vocals on the impossibly hooky opener, "Sleepless," made pop fans glad that this didn't happen. The sensual midtempo rocker "What I've Done" has more exciting harmonic vocal texturing behind Josh's lead vocal, which ranges into a striking falsetto to emphasize certain emotions. While most of the tracks ("The Saddest Song," "All I Have," "Don't Walk Away") start with a driving foundation that vibes from Until June's obvious Coldplay and Fray inspirations, Josh's soaring high tones (which often match the range of his brother's upper-register guitar lines) take his band's straightforward romantic lyrics to a whole new emotional level. The Ballard boys are also slightly keen on atmospheric heartbreakers like "Unnoticed" and "Outer Space," songs whose youthful innocence would charm some folks while striking others as deliciously corny (but since when was that a negative in pop music?). The band's impressive debut also features a highly atmospheric, simply produced, and sincere spiritual reflection tune ("You Do") that would be comfortable in the CCM format. At just over half an hour, though, it feels like the party's just getting started when it ends.

Customer Reviews

Forever June

Thanks for the guided effort to recall all sleepless nights

Biography

Formed: Phoenix, AZ

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

The roots to the warm, piano-peppered pop/rock songs of Until June were sown in Phoenix, when brothers Josh and Dan Ballard (vocals/piano and guitar, respectively) began writing songs together in high school. Taking influence from the likes of Ben Folds and Coldplay — and just a few years apart in age — their musical collaboration continued into college at Arizona State University, as various bassists and drummers came and went over time. The guys recorded their first EP in 2000 and worked...
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Until June, Until June
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