Ace of Cups delights with rocky blues, transcendent soul, folky pop, angelic jazz

The talent in our fine state of Ohio never ceases to amaze. The Ace of Cups crowd was delighted with rocky blues, transcendent soul, folky pop and angelic jazz.

That night featured acts from Cleveland and Columbus alike. Steven King, The Original Soundtrack, By Light We Loom and The Pleasant Tense all piled in with their instruments, soulful energy and incredible voices.

Steven King embodies an old soul — once his mouth opens, that old soul fills the entire room. Reminiscent of a young Tom Petty crossed with a more clean and precise Conor Oberst, King commands an audience like no other. Coming off the release of his album Shakin’ in My Boots, King shows vulnerability, honesty and memorability with tracks like “Significance of the Left & Right Hand” and “”You Can’t Sleep ( I Can’t Blame You).” Be sure to check out King’s new album here.

I’ve seen The Original Soundtrack a few times, but this time was special. They have added a drummer, rounding out their rocky blues sound even more. Before they were a two piece with take-notice vocals and funky guitar solos that carried those voices. Now they have a solid rock sound, the hard hitting drums add a key element to their already well established groove. The two songs that stand out the most are “Dance” and “Match Light Girl,” both possessing solid, interesting chord progressions and unique guitar solos. What also makes The Original Soundtrack standout from the pack is the two singers/guitarists. Jasmine and Lindsy switch off on lead vocals and lead guitar and in some songs they both riff off of each other. This gives their songs the same cohesive vibe, but with a refreshing well-executed change. Be sure to check out The Original Soundtrack March 28 for Women Aloud! at Dude Locker.

By Light We Loom is a husband and wife indie pop duo hailing from Cleveland. Armed with a guitar, a drum pad and profound dueling vocals, By Light We Loom has a refreshing folky pop resonance. They create ambience on stage with their unique lighting and their admiration for each other is very visible during their performance, which adds to the overall experience. They openly feed off of each others energy and push the vibrance into their performance. Hardly ever standing still, the duo move and dance to the building back beats. By Light We Loom is preparing to release a new EP, The Ignition and you can catch them May 1 at The Euclid Tavern for the record release party.

The Pleasant Tense has to be a name you’ve heard before. If not, don’t worry I will clue you in. This Columbus band has five members, each adding their own element to the full tone of the group. They have a feel evocative of a 70s jazz club, a voice of an angel and backed by very detailed instrumentals that would make any listener swoon. Vocalist Marnee has an Aretha Franklin-esque voice, with a dash of Etta James on top. Her stage presence is a force to be reckoned with. The band itself is almost indescribable, sitting somewhere akin to Yes, and Sly and the Family Stone, The Pleasant Tense deliver a more than pleasant collection of tunes. Lyrically awe-inspiring songs like “Speak” truly set this band apart — such raw emotion carried by a lovely voice and truly unforgettable. You’re crazy if you don’t go to Brothers Drake Meadery March 27 for the next Pleasant Tense show.

Go for the in house made Mead and stay for the music!

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