About a year before Denali broke up, I was assigned, as an intern at a major magazine, to transcribe an interview with the band members. The most memorable part was lead singer Maura Davis talking about how she’d always wanted to be a rock star. Her main source of inspiration was her brother and bandmate, Keeley Davis, during the rise of Engine Down, the band he fronted from 1996 to 2005. Forming Denali with him in 2000, Maura became one of the most prominent and distinct female vocalists in indie rock. Denali split in 2004, and Davis apparently considered returning to school before deciding to form a new band, at first called Bella Lea but eventually called Ambulette, with bassist Stephen Howard, drummer Ryan Rapsys, and guitarist Matt Clark.
On their debut EP, The Lottery, Davis is still breaking hearts with her gorgeous piano work (“When I See You”) to accompany lush-rock melody, and the EP also provides faster, more intense pieces (“Seconds Until Midnight”) that are undeniably catchy. “If You Go Away,” closes the record with her usual grand gesture of vocals that swim through oceans of beauty and pain. The Lottery shows that Davis has become a rock star in her own right, and Ambulette could be the vehicle to deliver her the attention she deserves.
Label: http://www.astralwerks.com/Streaming audio: http://www.myspace.com/ambulette