This is Eric Anders.
He is an accomplished musician and songwriter… and he is not a fan of the 45th president of the United States.
His distaste for the current leadership of the USA was enough to motivate an entire album of moody, mostly acoustic driven songs of angst, protest, and outright dread over issues Anders holds dear to his heart. Released in April of 2017, the 10-track album is titled in reference to the day Donald Trump was elected president.
And putting his money where his
mouth songs are, he is donating all the proceeds of this album to Lambda Legal, who say… “Our nation is facing an extremist takeover by people who don’t believe in the fundamental rights of LGBT people and people living with HIV. Lambda Legal knows how to hold the line when civil rights are under attack. Founded in 1973, Lambda Legal knows how to fight the government in the courts when the other branches are hostile, having successfully done so in the past.”
As for the music offered, Eric Anders serves up singer/songwriter nuggets of observation wrapped in dissident complaints and warnings through acoustic guitars with an array of accompanying instrumentation. Anders voice tends to tread on paths of sincere, earnest deliveries, made fragile in nature by his presence that comes across in reserved, sometimes hushed tones that still manage to hold unto the intensity of their motivations.
The core of Eric Anders music is his guitar and lyrics. If you need a comparison to a more well-known artist, think Neil Young. Tracks are given individuality by the choice of instrument pairing around this Anders essence. Sometimes it’s a lonely drum, or drifting slide guitar, or layers of some backing vocals, but always revolving around the vocals of Eric Anders.
This politically motivated affair begins with “A Man For No Season” , a somber affair with minimal and exposed guitar. The bit of warble in Anders voice rings reminiscent of Neil Young’s more vulnerable moments, complete with occasional vocal journey’s into controlled high voice range.
“Big World Abide” starts to fill out of the sound of Anders vision with sparse drums and a moody bass line that gives the track a smokey, sultry, dive-bar atmosphere. All consistently floating on Anders exposed vocal presence.
“So Wrong” utilizes a slide guitar to great effect. While that instrument typically finds a home in the realm of country, Anders keeps his feet firmly planted in a minimal acoustic folk approach he favors throughout the release.
“Looking Forward To Your Fall” hits with a more flushed out band sound and smacks with the dissatisfaction that Anders makes no attempt at hiding throughout this release.
“Do You Feel” employs some distortion and keyboards, pushing this track into an almost alt-indie-hipster-folk territory and stands out loudly against the rest of the more subdued offerings on, “Eleven Nine”.
The lone piano driven “Inside The Sacrifice Zone” lays bare Anders voice against lyrics that don’t hide their meanings… “Here inside this zone of sacrifice – EPA’s not welcome with advice – The company’s the one on which we rely – The company means jobs but we pay the price – Nothing to do, can’t be undone – Dirt poor yet the billionaire is the one”. This song was one of three entirely new songs written specifically for this album.
As an added bonus, the listener is treated to an appropriate cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s, “Who’ll Stop The Rain”, which was a protest song in its own time and still smacks with a relevance in today’s uncertain climate. Anders also breaks into a rendition of “This Land Is Your Land” to cap off another track, illustrating how this musician is fully in touch with the folk roots of music from which he liberally draws his sonic inspirations.
While not attempting any kind of ‘greatest hits’ album, it should be noted that many of the songs on this release were written, recorded and released on previous Eric Anders albums. The song, “Looking Forward” was originally penned with the second of the Bush presidencies as its inspiration. However, Anders found the spirit of the song appropriate for the feelings he is currently processing, and with some lyrical tweaks, was included on this album.
“Eleven Nine” hits with a tangible dissatisfaction and easy to understand motivation. Politics have often provided a backdrop to inspire many talented artists to create in the name of protest. What makes Eric Anders unique is his ability to seemingly bypass the impotent rage felt by so many into something more tangible in its goal to expose, enlighten, and perhaps actually change in a way that will bring us closer together.
Hear more Eric Anders music on his website at: www.ericanders.com