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Review of Jacks and Atoms New EP Release Over the Mountain By: Coren E. McLeod

Review of Jacks and Atoms New EP Release 
Over the Mountain 
By:  Coren E. McLeod 

Their Story: 
Coming from acoustic roots and vocal-driven melodies, the music of Jacks and Atoms highlights the trials and tribulations that one may go through when living a life of self-discovery. When you find yourself asking who you are and you are left with no answer, Jacks and Atoms embraces that moment, as that defines what it means to be alive. 
While attending the same community college in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, Daven Masulis and Dan Orlowski met at the Borders bookstore open mic in Mount Prospect, IL. Fast-forward five years and three bands later, Daven and Dan found themselves at a crossroads, uncertain of their direction, but with an abundance of passion to share their musical connection with more than just themselves. It was in that summer of 2014 when they decided to journey down a new path and form Jacks and Atoms.  
           Over the past two years, and many nights filled with coffee and mornings with cabernet, the two musicians found themselves creating their first EP in the basement of Daven’s house. Each song within the collection expresses or inspires happiness, denial, reflection, pride, regret, and revolution as all common themes when in a place of self-discovery. With their songs rooted in acoustic percussive undertones, uplifted by singing strings, driven by authentic vocal-melodies, and established by the consistent heartbeat of a kick drum, Jacks and Atoms has created the soundscape of their artistic collection, Over the Mountain. 

EP Review of Over the Mountain 
As a true fan of music, I tend to lean more towards harder sounds that get my heart pumping.  However, every once in a great while I need something that is truly relaxing and I can sip a good glass of Pinot Noir to.  That is where Chicago-based band Jacks and Atoms plays a vital role.  The band Jacks and Atoms consist of two key players:  Daven Masulis (Vocals and Guitar) and Dan Orlowski (Bass and Drums).  These two fine gentlemen follow a trail of making effortless music which can almost mimic the likes of Jack Johnson, Rob Thomas and O.A.R.  
Jacks and Atoms will be releasing their newest effort, Over the Mountain,” on Saturday, June 18th, 2016 at the ultra-chic Tonic Room in Chicago.  I had the ultimate pleasure of being able to hear the EP, before the release party.  Let me just say the EP is for sure a comforting endeavor of two buddies making sweet ditties for their audience.   

Over the Mountain consists of 6 tracks that take a person on a journey of everyday life.  Daven and Dan keep the EP clean with modest guitar work, light drums, and a few surprises thrown inBack in the good ol’ days of college, I loved listening to O.A.R., and this is what the EP reminds me of.   
One of my favorites on this record has to be “Autumn Leaves.”  Lyrically simple, yet relatable with vocals that can melt a person’s heart.  “Autumn Leaves” feels almost romantic in a way that makes me want to dance with my eyes closeand feel the music flow through me. 
The title track to the EP “Over the Mountain” stands out to me.  I had to give this particular song a few listens.  I actually grew to like how the entire song came together.  It has a slight country twang offered throughout, and I can see how this could cross over to many different people.  Daven and Dan give a soft, effortless feel especially when they break out into the chorus and sing the lyrics “Shine On.”     
Song #5, “Rainbow”, is an astounding standout on the record.  “Rainbow” starts off extremely unpretentious, yet Daven and Dan build up the tune into a miraculous string section with lovely violins.  Considering I played the violin back in grade school, I was paying particularly close attention and just wanted to applaud.  The arrangements were so beautiful and it worked very well to end “Rainbow” on an exquisite note.   
All I can say is I found this EP from Jacks and Atoms “Over the Mountain” to be a great listen for the summer.  The music is something that needs to be listened to while friends are snuggled around a campfire and just chilling for the night.  I am happy to know these two guys found each other to play wonderfully crafted music together in the Chicagoland area. 

Songs on "Over the Mountain":
1)  Life is Climbing
2) Not Afraid
3)  Poster Child
4)  Autumn Leaves
5) Rainbow
6)  Over the Mountain
7)  Sound of the Stream


- Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

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