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Eric Anders and Mark O’Bitz - “Of All These Things” (2018) review

Eric Anders and Mark O’Bitz - Of All These Things (2018)

The Californian singer/songwriters Eric Anders and Mark O’Bitz have come together to bring us Of All These Things, an indie folk album of exemplary craftsmanship. Every cut on the release is as crisp as an apple—and for good reason too, as this is only the duo’s first formal release together. The two have been collaborating as far back as 2003.

All 10 tracks considered, I’m getting whiffs of Bry Webb, or perhaps a more sedate Josh Ritter. Definitely expect some proper Nashville melodies complete with a slide guitar. But despite a professional brigade of eclectic song structures, the dynamics of the release never rise above a certain mark. Even with the vocal harmonies escalating towards a catharsis on tracks like “Eyes of Your Loves,” the energy remains relatively subdued. And with the entire soundscape already resting on a soft bed of sonic fragility, I’m left with some unmet cravings.

A few honorable mentions include “Below the Night,” “Together Must Be Found,” and “Look into The Sun,” with the last one being the only tune on the album with any overtly electronic instrumentation. Its chorus is concise, persuasive, and floating high on a cloud of reverb. Albeit a bit peripherally mixed, there’s even a noisy and meandering solo that scratches quite the itch.

Stick around for “Found My Way Home” though and you’re in for a treat. Some bass-heavy fingerpicking, a thumping drum, sweetly plucked background riffs, and some gorgeous harmonies piece together possibly the finest track of the LP. Every last crumb of beauty is delivered with precision. Stellar musicianship combined with high quality production? The duo just hit a sweet spot.

- Gabe Kahan
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