11 Songs, 43 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Clean Lyrics Mastered for iTunes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Clean Lyrics Mastered for iTunes
TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
7 Ratings
7 Ratings
Frank Warren's Music ,

The End of Ours - A Beautiful Beginning

I have anxiously awaited this record’s arrival. When I first heard of Alec Lytle’s foray into this Americana-folk- singer/songwriter landscape, I was certain it would stand out, and it does. My certainty came from years of knowing his talents as a musician and underestimated vocalist in a wide variety of funk-pop-n-roll genres. But, I also know him as a tremendous writer, with a love for dark, twisting, and image-evoking phrases. With Them Rounders’ sweet harmonies, and the acoustic scrim, Alec has found a truly honest vehicle for these achingly beautiful, fragile, and tender songs.

In the hands of real-deal producer Tony Berg (Aimee Mann, Michael Penn, X), as well as legendary engineer Bob Clearmountain (Springsteen, Bowie, INXS, etc.) and master Master Bob Ludwig (Leonard Cohen, Lloyd Cole, Wilco, Of Monsters & Men this year alone), and a who’s who of L.A. talents acting as studio Rounders, The End of Ours could have been an overwhelming debut with Lytle’s California coastal mountain folk lost in the smog. However, the songs and Lytle’s voice are so artfully handled and boosted here, that the album creates an immediate warm living room, with the occasional fireplace crackle, no matter where one listens.

On “North, CA” the album’s opening track, and presumed single, a clear path is laid of pine-lined boardwalks, and beachy hooks. Grammy winner Greg Liesz’s pedal steel weaves in and out of laid back harmonies from Z Berg and Dan Newitt, like that of a Sunday ride along Highway 1. Newitt’s mandolin is one of my highlights throughout the record. Perfectly utilized, adding scenic roots while adding a gleam of light to some of the darker passages.

Lytle ventures from making a painful relationship a feelgood singalong on “Ordinary Day” to leading us on a tense, Celtic run through the woods, on “Frozen Ground.” Every word held for effect alongside the haunting fiddle of Punch Brothers’ Gabe Witcher. It has one of my favorite lyrics on the lp: “And when I stumble you will fall, I’d rather dance before you crawl.”

My favorite tracks (as of the first couple weeks of listening) are “The Fiona You’ll Never Know” (a waltzing fable with bonus glockenspiel), “Used To” (an all-night, tear-soaked break up distilled into a 2-minute folk song), and “Rain,” which should be the record’s radio single. On it, the L.A. Rounders, including Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith and percussionist Matt Chamberlain, lay a redwood groove for Lytle to show off his dynamic voice and threadbare soulful writing.

And Lytle and Z Berg’s whispered cover of Low’s “When I Go Deaf” is just sublime, in that it rests on the ache of the lyric, rather than the irony employed by the original’s power chord resolution.
Much can be said for Lytle et al. to boldly include his cover of the Talking Heads’ “This Must Be the Place” on his debut lp. Long a staple of Lytle’s live performing, the song takes on new resonance amidst other songs of deep loss, searching, and doubt. The cover finds a slight kink in the song’s tenderness and allows the singer and band open up its hurt, its scars and wounds.

This is a gorgeous record that is highly recommended for lovers of writing, harmony, and songs that stay deep inside you long after the record stops spinning.

Webserge ,

AWESOME

Can't wait to see it live