In the top two or three things I got in the DWP inbox this year for sure. This split EP, released today via Red Scare Media, is made by two great artists who currently live in New Paltz, N.Y., Eli Frank and Avery John. Frank is also a member of Teenage Halloween and TOP Nachos.
Just four songs, this record takes me way back to driving up I-87 in my college days, shitty Toyota, windows open, cigarette ash, on the way to SUNY New Paltz. But it’s not the nostalgia that is making me write an earnest, excited review of this EP. It’s the easy way both John and Frank create a picture with their songwriting and soundscaping. It’s the way these songs complement each other so well. It’s the soft synth floating around the Winnebago Vacation songs. Missing is the banal vulnerability we’re so used to hearing in new music today; it all just feels right, thoughtful, not overthought, made for joy and not for navel-gazing.
Take the way John opens “Amber Tiles” by saying “Carl Jung, I think I know what you’re thinking, sewing trees into curtains, just to get some fresh air” and then turns that into a moment of reflection to which anyone could relate. Criticisms of Jung aside, the whole thing is smart and tight, and it seems to come easy. We need more of this kind of writing– it’s a refreshing, and, honestly, better, way to take perspective and knit it into greater existence and experience.