Ben Eisenberger “Three Islands” LP review

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Ben Eisenberger, Three Islands, April 24, 2018
https://beneisenberger.bandcamp.com/album/three-islands
RIYL: Slow folk, Shame, Singer Songwriter

Ben Eisenberger has put together an EP that is warm and comforting, and perfect for walks along some city side streets just after a spring rain. (Full disclosure, that’s exactly what I was doing when I first listened to this record.)

The guitar playing and the production are both excellent, and Three Islands is worth listening to for that alone.

I like to imagine this EP was recorded in a living room stuffed to the brim with well-read paperback books, cabin-style couches covered in fur, and a fireplace tucked away in a corner somewhere.

From Ben’s email to DWP, “I’m a guitarist from Omaha, Nebraska, who plays in several diverse projects including Hussies, Screaming Plastic, and FIFI NONO, and this is my first release on my own. Everything on this tape is meant to sound intimate, melancholy (I feel like I’m overusing this adjective though), dry, and soft.”

Good music to me accomplishes one of two things: It either pulls you into the world it’s trying to build so you can escape your own, or it enhances the world you currently live in.

I’d say Three Islands falls into the latter category. Soft enough to accompany your day to day, without pulling your focus away from the world around you.

I wouldn’t call this a particularly happy record, but it’s a great record to commiserate with on those days when you’re feeling pensive.

There are a few stand out moments when the instrumentation is enhanced by well-placed strings played by a one Hannah Mayer (according to the bandcamp page). The strings on “Ideal Conflict” make the record for me.

–Colin Vallee

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