Posts Tagged ‘Ezra Tennenbaum’

Ezrat

As EZTV went gently into the hereafter, without much fuss or fury, the band’s spark didn’t necessarily get snuffed out completely. Songwriter Ezra Tenenbaum has taken the momentum of his previous band and channeled it into his solo/not-solo endeavor Ezrat. He enlists several sympathetic souls for the album, bringing Kyle Forester (Woods, Crystal Stilts), John Andrews (Hand Habits, Cut Worms), and Michael Hesslein (Mail the Horse) on board for Carousel and they help carve the album into a lush slice of clear-blue pop. EZTV always rested on a fault line between power pop’s less turbulent (though by no means shallow) waters and jangle-pop’s more contemplative souls. Inject the sighed ennui of Chris Bell into mid-period works by The Chills and you’re starting to come close to what they’d achieved. Streak in a worn country soul on the second album and the band’s sound only got became that much more singular. Tenenbaum is still sorting through these influences as Ezrat and the decision to never completely pick a camp gives the album its rich appeal.

The opener, “Distortions,” is a jangled exhale of beautiful melancholy — streaked with sunset hues peeking through the rain. “Lost Sounds” swoons with strings, caught in a haze of lovesick harmonies and gentle plucks. While the rest of the album definitely relishes the grey-skied days in its temperament, the album doesn’t wallow. Carousel is hopeful in its heartbreak, more sweet than bitter, but it’s definitely pushing a lump down in its throat. Tenenbaum has spent years perfecting the right way to lament without pulling the listener down into despair and like High In Place before it, the album succeeds in being both a source of solace and hope. This one’s sneaking out a bit further below the radar than the last EZTV record, but that makes it the kind of charming gem that more people need to discover. If you were an EZTV fan, this is the next installment. If you’re simply a fan of well-crafted pop, then this might just open you up to a deep catalog of Tenebaum’s past pursuits as well.



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Ezrat – “Loud Sounds”

While they often bubbled under the surface, Brooklyn’s EZTV were a vital piece of the power-pop puzzle from the last few years. As the band’s mercurial sound began to change over the years they pulled in a soft lilt of country and folk that rounded their sound into something far more nuanced than genre tags can hope to evoke. Much like Canadian contemporary Michael Rault, they’d found a sound that was lush and luxuriant within the bounds of pop, and while it seems that EZTV as an entity have faded into the ether that informed them, their spirt lives on with Ezrat. Songwriter Ezra Tenenbaum has begun a new journey that’s gilded with many of the same charms as his previous band. Hung heavy with the dissolution of not only the band but many past relationships, the songs on Carousel were culled from a cache of 50 recordings Tenenbaum had saved up as home demos.

Ezra brought Kyle Forester (Woods, Crystal Stilts), John Andrews (Hand Habits, Cut Worms), and Michael Hesslein (Mail the Horse) along for the ride, fleshing out a bittersweet gem of an album at Figure 8 Studios in Brooklyn. On the first single, “Loud Sounds,” a knotted riff gives way to the sighs of strings (provided by Elena Moon Park & Kyla-Rose Smith) with Tenenbaum giving the track his usual rose-colored veneer – soft strums fading into the winds and melodies wrapping themselves around your own memories until they tug at the heartswell sweetness of melancholy days gone by. The record is out May 1st. Take a few spins ‘round with “Loud Sounds” below.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

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