Artist: Eternal Fair
Album: Eternal Fair, Vol. 1
Release: February 25
Eternal Fair isn't louder than every other band out there, or more delicately arranged, or dance-fueled. They don't hit a lot of the buzz-elements that might lump them together with some of the hot-topic bands of the day, but on Eternal Fair, Vol. 1 they do remind us that good songwriting can take many different forms.
Lead singer/songwriter Andrew Vait is especially good at style-morphing, jumping from nineties-era scat a la Spin Doctors (or their 00s counterparts Kings of Leon) on "Billy Keep Your Head Up", to Beach Boys-owing swoonery on "Brightest Star" with equal confidence. The recording and mixing is another high point. Guided by Jonas G. and Josh Sherman of Mezzanine Floor Studios, each instrument emerges on track with just the right amount of echo (quite a bit) and personality (also a good amount), and spreads the focus evenly enough to make the songs easy-listening as hell.
From the EP's four-song pool, "Billy Keep Your Head Up"--with its rolling synth-y bass line and off-beat hi-hat--has the most staying power, and begs repeat listens. The guitar line on "White Dream" is a little cheesy, but the tempo kind of calls for it, and plus, Vait's pretty falsetto more or less saves the song anyway. The aforementioned harmonies on "Brightest Star" finely accent the moments when Vait's voice is left solitary (or at least less layered) during the verses, and is another highlight. It's not all gold though, as "Boxes In The Attic" makes for a rather wonky opening to the disk. It's central guitar/clap line gives the song a silly feel that doesn't quite mesh with the rest of the release, but once you get past it, you're sitting pretty.
Eternal Fair, Vol. 1 has enough of past-rock's charm to evoke a warm feeling of nostalgia, and enough inventive musicianship and thoughtful studio-work to hold its own. Overall a solid offering, and a promising look at what's to come. Check it out on their Bandcamp page or stream it below.