Wilco Members Sansone and Stirratt Release Fifth Album from Side Project The Autumn Defense

31 Jan

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Wilco is a popular alternative rock band from Chicago that has released eight studio albums since its formation in 1994. Two of the band’s members for the past ten years have been multi-instrumentalist, Pat Sansone, and bassist, John Stirratt.

Sansone and Stirratt are prolific musicians who, even while composing, recording and touring with Wilco, have managed to find the time and energy to collaborate on side projects under the name, the Autumn Defense. On Tuesday, the Autumn Defense released its fifth album, appropriately titled Fifth.

The album features mellow power-pop, jangly indie rock and alt country, conjuring images of the Beatles, late-era Beach Boys, artsy Kinks or Zombies, or the Traveling Wilburys. It is the first album the Autumn Defense has created with the help of its full touring band — and it makes for some really tight performances.

Standout tracks include: “This Thing That I’ve Found,” a strummy, Traveling Wilburys/George Harrison-like tune with laid-back vocals, nice harmonies and a strong beat. “Calling Your Name” is a fun song that’s very reminiscent of the Beatles, right down to the plinking electric piano, orchestra, rich background vocals, and Chicago (the band)-style brass.

“I Want You Back” is perhaps the song that best channels the Beach Boys, with warm harmonies, strings, prominent drums, and bells. And “None Of This Will Matter” is a well-chosen album opener — a mellow song with strong hooks, more nice harmonies, and a flavor that’s a little like an Eagles country-rock ballad from the 1970s.

The songs on Fifth cover familiar ground — starting relationships, ending relationships, remembrances of times past, and dealing with perceived or real loneliness — but they do so with compelling lyrics, creative arrangements and high production values. It’s a nice listen!

 

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