The sheen of the sharp production and fine musicianship can hide the darker edges on this singer-songwriters’ first full length. Thematically, the songs are about isolation, despair and broken dreams. Musically, twangy guitars, banjo and mandolin parts interweave with “function generators,” synths and B-3 organs. There are even a couple of cello tracks. Auffenberg is a central Missouri transplant living in the bay area and the disc is released on SF’s Evangeline Records.
For fans of: Wilco, Iron & Wine, Ryan Adams
1. (4:23) Slow, sorrowful piano ballad with a touch of twang.
* 2. (4:23) Mid-tempo melodic track shows off his songwriting chops. Could’ve been a hit for the Eagles is they didn’t suck.
** 3. (3:25) Electronic touches, percussion and whispery vocals reminiscent of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Not your average road song.
4. (3:24) Twangy guitar and hooky chorus.
*5. (3:44) Rhythm-heavy intro and beat back up a strong vocal performance.
6. (3:15) Up-tempo number a little heavy on production.
7. (4:35) Piano-driven song with cello and big chorus.
8. (4:03) Acoustic guitar with a power-pop feel.
* 9. (4:58) Rich and beautiful melody. Simple keys plus voices.
10. (3:42) Blue-grass druggy SF ditty.