says: The Autumn Defense

Note: This is the first of hopefully many quickie album reviews from Matt Hinrichs, a former co-worker of mine at The Arizona Republic and the proprietor of the great Matt is the man responsible for designing the excellent banner at Circa 45, and he’s got distinguished taste in music/arts, so I’m happy to have him add his editorial voice to the site.

The Autumn Defense
self-titled (Broadmoor Records)

The Autumn Defense serves as a mellow side project for multi-instrumentalists and Wilco members John Stirratt and Pat Sansone. Though both hail from the Midwest, from a few listens to their self-titled third album I would gather that their hearts are forever in Laurel Canyon, circa 1971. Their sound is vaguely reminiscent of Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, or even Bread — but this is no goofy pastiche. If fact, wide-eyed earnestness might as well be the album’s overwhelming theme. Such a project would be impossible to do without succumbing to every kind of “sensitive man” cliché, but strangely enough they pull it off beautifully. The entire album is surprisingly, consistently good — but if I could recommend a single track for download, it would be the gorgeously soulful Feel You Now. The duo aim for a classic Al Green-ish feel here, but like the rest of the album it has a timelessness which gets richer with every listen.

  • The Autumn Defense | Feel You Now

Buy the self-titled album at Broadmoor Records.

The Autumn Defense plays Modified in Phoenix on Thursday with the Broken West. Buy tickets.

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