Summer is here. Cue the niche releases that will be played for two or three months out of happiness, and then after they’ll be played out of nostalgia and sadness. It’s a broad and cryptic way to describe that one album that sums up the feeling of the hottest season, but I have a specific album in mind when I think of the past few years of July and August, and that would be Days by Real Estate. For the past three years, Real Estate has dominated the small time indie scene with this record. It’s everybody’s favourite alternative record to anything by Vampire Weekend, and bands are beginning to jump on board to be ‘that summer band’.
Eric Frisch has the same thing in mind. Creating iconic pop tunes in New York in hopes that they’ll connect with a faithful audience. Originally from Toronto, he’s migrated down south to pursue music as his main goals. I place him into the category of wanting to make impression summer tunes, because, well, that’s exactly what they sound like. Goodbye Birdcage is the singer-songwriter’s new full length release that has throwback ties to the 50’s/60’s era of pop music.
With titles like, “Pretty Girls”, or “Stick Around”, it’s easy to spot where the simplicity comes on the surface. It’s easy to miss the complexity of adding in horn sections and blasting dynamics when Frisch’s acoustic leads the rhythmic way. “Pretty Girls” is the forefront of the entire album, and I wish I had more focus on the use of horns. Nonetheless, Frisch’s unique twist on a relatable genre for many people by the addition of he nonchalant attitude in his singing is a great perk.
Goodbye Birdcage is a warm, fun album. At only 31 minutes, it’s a solid album to have playing as the sun starts to fade away on a sandy beach. The clean, fun-loving sound has a typical underlying theme of sadness which is surpassed by the overall jumpy, relaxed vibe of the album. “Telephone” is easily the most apparent song that displays sadness, and it’s not even that upsetting. “Learn To Swim” reminiscences sounds from a local Vancouver band, Said The Whale, who are the local god’s of summer rock, and “Goodbye Birdcage”, although an incredible track, could’ve used better production and less reverb because the attempt at literally sounding 50’s is tacky. There’s an upside to this, and that’s the assumption that seeing this song live will be killer.
Eric played most all the instruments on this album and mixed them himself, which that alone deserves an accolade. The man has knowledge on what a good album sounds like, and it works most all the time on here (except for “Goodbye Birdcage”, but I assume it’ll grow on me). “The Sun in Santiago” is chalk-full of the surf-rock of the 60’s and literally sounds like a Beach Boys cover mixed with Typhoon’s melodic overloads. An incredible track.
While there’s going to be an insane amount of releases in the next couple of months, don’t let the underground names fly over your head. Give Eric Frisch’s release a listen. A solid album that fits well into the canon of 2014 summer albums with a unique and fun vibe that is hard to find in today’s over saturated acoustic singer-songwriter genre. Goodbye Birdcage sets itself apart by being itself and not forcing other sounds in, which is a hard task for most musicians today because everyone wants to be other people. Frisch embraces himself and for that he releases a great record with amazing album art. Sorry. Had to say that some point in this review.
Check out the video for “Pretty Girls” below!