EZTV – High Flying Faith (2016)

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‘High Flying Faith’ – the first song written for the album – is a refutation of urban weariness, it’s title perhaps acting as a makeshift motto for the optimism (and stubbornness) that is key to New York bands like EZTV. Inspired by the lyrics of ‘Broken Heart’ by Skip Spence, it’s a 12-string-propelled nugget that best shows how EZTV operate: toeing the line between past and present, with a keen ear for left-of-the-dial experimentation that never lets the songs hew too far into pastiche and genre nostalgia. Many of the band’s foundational inspirations – the Feelies’ upstart jangle, the upside-down pop architecture of Arthur Russell’s power pop band The Necessaries, Shoes’ aching harmonies – are back in play on ‘High in Place’, their sophomore album, though new instruments and feels abound throughout. Produced and engineered by the band themselves, a baby grand piano rings and 12-string acoustic guitars shimmer throughout the album, recalling the clear-eyed production techniques of Jeff Lynne. One great advantage to living in New York: eventually all your friends come to visit. Taking advantage of tour stopovers, trips to attend weddings, or even just commandeering someone’s vacation for a few days, EZTV invited some like-minds and fellow songwriters into the studio – Jenny Lewis, Chris Cohen, Martin Courtney and Matt Kallman of Real Estate, John Andrews of Quilt, Nic Hessler and Mega Bog – to guest on ‘High in Place’. Aptly recorded on a tape machine purchased from a Lower East Side Studio that was going out of business, in a space where the New York City skyline both loomed and inspired through its glass windows, ‘High in Place’ is an album of ten golden pop songs worthy of any era.LP – With Download.

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