Blue States The Soundings

After their beautifully arranged "Season Song,” which featured an eerie children’s choir, was featured in the apocalyptic zombie flick, 28 Days Later, the sun is shining brighter for Blue States. Their third album, The Soundings, deals with much more of what helped close off a great film — grand Axelrod-tinged arrangements and haunting undertones of classical pop. Though their earlier work was more in the vein of cinematic chill-out, the move to epically proportioned rock suits them fine with their recent changes. Founder and main songwriter Andy Dragazis has enlisted full-time members, Jon Chandler and Chris Carr, to make it a complete band and fill out the multilayered sound. The biggest effect this has on Blue States’ music is promoting Carr to singer, which gives the extravagant orchestration (previously instrumentals) a hefty boost. Carr’s vocals are profoundly British, with a touch of silk that gives the intimate, dark songs a sense of royalty. With a fine balance of experimentation and momentous rock gestures, Blue States should find themselves in the company of fellow Brit bands like Doves and Elbow. (Memphis Industries)