The Ericksons make music for the Middle Of The Night
Kenny Squires
6/8/2009 8:03:32 AM

Let’s say that Regina Spektor and Joni Mitchell met for coffee, and Joanna Newsom was outside with a guitar, playing for change. If that were the case, and they all decided to make a record together, then you’d have a combination that comes close to describing the sound of The Ericksons’ new album, Middle Of The Night. The Brooklyn-based duet’s take on Indie-Folk, with tight harmonies and intriguing instrumentation, makes each track a surprise—even when it’s been on repeat for two hours.

The tone of the album is set with “Northwind,” a song that might float away because of the revolving acoustic guitar part and the gentle harmony, and yet, it’s anchored by an upright bass and what sounds like a haunting cello. The banjo is put to clever use on “Money Grows On Trees,” creating a deep pocket with the bass (and no drums) within the song’s three-four time signature. “We Write It Down” is an example of how The Ericksons have a firm grasp on writing strong choruses that stay in the listener’s mind.

What’s really striking about this album is the texture of each song, which is created by a unique mix of instruments: tenor guitar, tenor banjo, glockenspiel, trumpet, upright bass, acoustic guitar, and vocals. The arrangements keep the songs fresh, and the production is warm and organic—it’s so nice to hear a record that hasn’t been through hours and hours of Pro-Tools editing.

Lyrically, The Ericksons keep it uncomplicated, and it works. A good hook is simple, more often than not. They might not be reaching for the lyrical grandeur of Dylan or Kris Kristofferson, but they do uphold the tradition of folk singers being chroniclers, specifically in “We Write It Down:”

“We write it down
Cause no one else will
We write it down
Cause no one else knows
We write it down
And you will feel”

I look forward to Middle Of The Night providing the soundtrack to my evenings in the summer of 2009. The songs are powerful and memorable, and it feels right to put the album on repeat and let it go. Of the many Indie artists out there, I’d say that The Ericksons definitely have a unique sound, and that Middle Of The Night is just a taste of what they can do. Keep your eye on those two.

Middle Of The Night is $9.99 on iTunes, and available on CD Baby ( $9.99 for MP3 format and $14.00 for CD.


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