Abe Anderson: Seasick Lullaby (Brace Cove) - review | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Saturday, October 16th, 2021  

Abe Anderson

Seasick Lullaby

Brace Cove

Mar 01, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Over the past few years, Abe Anderson has been making a name for himself as a go-to DIY producer in the Minneapolis area, lending his production talents and garage studio to any number of Twin Cities bands. Most notably, Anderson spent 2020 both behind the scenes recording Minneapolis indie emo trio Thank You, I’m Sorry, and playing in his partying pop punk band, niiice. Outside of the stellar production work, Anderson also has been putting in time towards a burgeoning solo career, culminating with the release of his debut solo record, Seasick Lullaby.

Though Anderson already plays many roles as a producer, songwriter, and musician, Seasick Lullaby sounds distinct from his other projects, exploring a grab bag of new sounds that Anderson makes all his own. Freed up by the quarantine to explore his style and hone his songwriting skills, Anderson took heavy influence from ‘80s New Wave, lo-fi indie rock, dream pop, and even shoegaze for his solo debut. As a result, the record is united more by mood than style, occasionally making for a disjointed listen. Yet, Anderson also shows off an impressive range, with each song revealing new dimensions to his music and new facets of his songwriting.

“Processional” sets the stage with an instrumental opener, marked by resonant funeral brass and a gorgeous melody that is moving and mournful in equal measure. The track leads right into “Seasick Lullaby,” which floats on lush beds of synths while the brass returns for the instrumental breaks before the track transitions to a driving guitar solo, before capping off with an anthemic key change. Then Anderson switches it up again with the carefree power pop feel of “Pushing Me Under.” The track’s upbeat drum machine, twinkling guitar lines, and breezy sound land close to Chris Farren’s jangly indie pop, with an added hint of shoegaze distortion.

Thankfully, Anderson still brings these styles together with a keen ear for irresistible melody and heartfelt emotion. The watery New Wave synth tones of “On and Always” pair brilliantly with an earworm hook and some heavyweight, Phil Collins-esque drums, while “Ricky” shines with a rousing chorus and invigorating indie rock feel. Meanwhile, the album’s emotional center comes with “Love You More,” the most unabashedly earnest track on the record. Anderson tributes the small moments that make a relationship special, in turn delivering the album’s most stripped-back instrumental moment, pairing ‘80s New Wave melodicism with splashes of indie guitar tones. Finally, he finishes with “You Don’t Have to Stay,” a perfectly balanced mix of electronic percussion and acoustic instrumentation to carry the album to its close.

Anderson plays through each track with a breezy sense of adventure, bouncing between styles with a curious eye and an ever-present melodic sensibility. While the grab bag nature of the record doesn’t necessarily define an individual style for Anderson’s solo work, taken together, they point to a musician and songwriter of uncommon adaptability. With such a diverse array of sounds in his toolkit, it’s no wonder Anderson has become so well-known in his local scene. Anderson’s chameleonic way of inhabiting the styles on Seasick Lullaby makes for an early year DIY highlight and a consistently rewarding listen. (www.abeanderson.bandcamp.com)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 5/10


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