Artist Spotlight

Review: Broken Anchor, “Fresh Lemonade”

No Comments 6 October 2013

Review: Broken Anchor, “Fresh Lemonade”

Fresh Lemonade feels like such an apt title for this collection of songs; it’s a bittersweet concoction of taut lyrics, bold delivery and catchy melodies that belie their underlying tartness. It’s a confident effort, and it’s not about reinvention or conceptualism. With this record, Broken Anchor has just pieced together 35 minutes of shimmering, gorgeous and visceral music that deserves a much wider audience.”

Artist: Broken Anchor

Album: Fresh Lemonade

Genre: Rock / Surf-Folk

RIYL: Band of Horses, Pete Yorn, Wilco, My Morning Jacket

Broken Anchor Fresh Lemonade

Broken Anchor is LA-based songwriter/vocalist Austin Hartley-Leonard and Michael Duffy. I actually confess to having started and stopped and restarted writing this review about ten times, not surprisingly because that’s the number of tracks on this record. Why? Because after every song started and picked up steam, I dubbed it “one of my favorite songs of the year” and had to keep revising the statement as each track passed in and out of my speakers. Crazy. And crazy good. In a year that’s included a release by City and Colour and Gregory Alan Isakov, two modern masters of their craft, Fresh Lemonade stands squarely in between them and might be pulling ahead as one of the best albums of the year. Bold statement, I know. So let me explain.

“Always” comes floating into your life as the innocuous introduction to what sounds like a combination of the dreamy, atmospheric qualities of Band of Horses with vocals that evoke Pete Yorn. Right out of the gate, this Broken Anchor hooks you; and then lead single “Canada” puts the catchy vex on you and there’s no turning back. The vocal harmonies and lo-fi, California surf vibe start to shine through on “Stencil Heart” and the introspective and lovely “Dear Diary.”

“Matador” is just a stunner of simplicity, building to complete and total satisfaction and then dissipating into nothingness. One of those songs that just slips into your world and feels like you can’t possibly live without hearing it again. And then “Head Is A Hole” and “My Marie” follow it up, proving that it is possible to improve upon perfection. Hartley-Leonard’s vocals have an engaging, haunting quality to them. And it’s those vocals coupled with the ebb and flow of the instrumentation throughout the record that make these tracks in particular, very special.

“Leave the Light On” is Cali retro rock done extremely well, with a familiar bounce and roll of the drums leading into a hypnotic and driving melody that lead perfectly into album closer “Never Leave Me Alone,” a song that feels like a bouncier, more harmonic version of The Replacements. It has attitude, scrap and an anthemic quality to it that perfectly encapsulate the energy and brevity of the record as a whole.

Fresh Lemonade feels like such an apt title for this collection of songs; it’s a bittersweet concoction of taut lyrics, bold delivery and catchy melodies that belie their underlying tartness. It’s a confident effort, and it’s not about reinvention or conceptualism. With this record, Broken Anchor has just pieced together 35 minutes of shimmering, gorgeous and visceral music that deserves a much wider audience. You won’t be sorry you’ve made this discovery, just be prepared to fall in love with a new favorite band.

 


Broken Anchor website: http://www.brokenanchormusic.com/

 

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