A pulse disrupts a steady electrical current like a glitch in energy’s natural order. Levels exert the same impact on heavy music. The Central Arkansas quintet—Kolby Carignan [vocals], Jager Felice [guitar], Jacob Hubbard [bass], and Dalton Kennerly [drums]—reconfigure and realign the DNA of metal with elements of pop, electronic, and drum and bass. After generating millions of streams independently, the group expand this vision yet again on their 2023 single, Pulse [Sharptone Records].
“Pulse ties into the whole vibe of finding a partner, dancing, and bringing the club environment into our world,” notes Jager. “It’s us. It’s life. It’s what we all share in common as human beings. That is the Pulse.”
Since emerging in 2016, Levels have consistently challenged themselves and the culture of heavy music. Following the 2018 release of the self-titled Levels LP, their signature style evolved across fan favorite singles such as “Encapsulate,” “Eon,” and “Chauvinist,” which amassed over 649K Spotify streams and counting. Along the way, the guys performed alongside everyone from VRSTY and Glass Hands to Beartooth, The Devil Wears Prada, Oceano, and more. The band also powered this rise in D.I.Y. fashion, recording, mixing, and producing the songs and shooting and even editing the videos. During 2023, they entered KonKrete Studios with producer Jonathan Dolese to record what would become the EP. The musicians channeled inspirations as diverse as Billie Eilish, The Weeknd, The Prodigy, Poppy, and Static-X in addition to jungle, trance, and house.
“This is the first time we’ve been able to confidently blend all of these styles in a seamless way,” notes Dalton. “Jonathan helped us merge everything from the drum and bass to the pop vocals. At points, we’re contrasting pretty falsetto with low-tuned instruments. It’s organic and true to who we are.”
“Our mission statement was to create something different from what you typically hear,” Jager goes on. “We asked, ‘How can we make unique music that’s true to us and provides a new direction for Metal?’ We’re drawing from diverse inspirations to present a sound of our own.”