Sweater Friends, Eric Openshaw Band 

Local CD Reviews

click to enlarge art7976widea.jpg

click to enlarge 4_stars.gif
Hoodies
click to enlarge 3_stars.gif
Cardigans
click to enlarge 2_stars.gif
Snuggies
click to enlarge 1_star.gif
Pashminas


click to enlarge music1_cdreviews_the_sw_baf.jpg
Sweater Friends, Everyone We Know (self-released)
click to enlarge 3_stars.gif

What is a Sweater Friend? Jake Workman and Allyson Lundburg’s selfdescribed “songs like conversations” sometimes try to cram in as many syllables as possible into a measure of music in their fervor to express true friendship. These songs are like thumbnail sketches of different characters, as though the spare arrangement of acoustic guitar and voices trading solos was the musical equivalent of an artist’s pencil to provide an outline and shading, a momentary glimpse.

This stuff is cute without being cutesy and, well, as comfy as a warm sweater. It’s not all sunshine, though: “No excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness,” Lundburg explains on “Breaking the Azeotrope.” There can’t be anything more pleasant than the sentiment of “I’m Never Not Walking to Church Again.” (But are they familiar with Utah weather?) In Small Lake City you might even be part of the extended group of “everyone they know.” In the acknowledgments on the inner sleeve, the two include “You, because when it comes down to it, we’re all sweater friends.”


click to enlarge music_cd_reviews_090507_c65.jpg
Eric Openshaw Band, This Stage (Skinny Guy Sound)
click to enlarge 4_stars.gif

Fresh-faced Eric Openshaw slings the Strat over his shoulder on the inside of his CD cover like a younger John Mayer, and his songwriting is reminiscent of the singer/would-be comedian with loose rock rhythms and a modicum of jazz and funk. Just swap Mayer’s Georgia drawl with a Utah inflection—a charming delivery that adds to the album’s appeal. This disc is one of the most polished and assured local debuts in quite a while. And he adds some intensity in his singing that has been lacking in Mayer’s recent efforts.

The arrangements are a bit spare—just a three-piece guitar-bass-drums outfit, which doesn’t leave Openshaw much room to solo. But Openshaw’s voice is the main instrument on the recording. The selections almost sound like demos, with little or no effects added to the guitar, but it doesn’t really need any. His guitar playing, especially on “An Arsenal of Words and Fear,” is influenced without being derivative. On “Lullaby” he really gets to stretch his vocal capabilities out on a ballad, and it’s an impressively emotive result for his amount of time on the local music circuit.

Pin It
Favorite

Speaking of...

More by Brian Staker

  • A Sense of Place

    Alice Gallery showcases works exploring The Architecture of Place.
    • Jul 20, 2016
  • And the Room Goes ...

    Helmet-headed one-man blues band Bob Log III's self-referential dirty blues still drives audiences wild.
    • Jul 20, 2016
  • Feel the Burn

    After 17 years, beloved local hardcore band Iceburn pulls a phoenix trick.
    • Jul 13, 2016
  • More »

Latest in CD Reviews

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

© 2016 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation