John Andrews & the Yawns / John Andrews

Bad Posture

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Known to some as drummer for Quilt and keyboardist for Woods, the also singer/songwriter John Andrews changed things up a little for his second solo album, Bad Posture. For one, he relocated from Pennsylvania Amish country to the woods of Barrington, New Hampshire. It was there that he recorded the album in the barn of a Colonial farmhouse shared with other musicians. He also invited his housemates to perform on the album, essentially functioning as the previously fictional half of John Andrews & the Yawns. They included Rachel Neveu, Lukas Goudreault, and Joey Schneider, from bands such as Mmoss and Soft Eyes. What remains constant on his return is Andrews' easygoing, trippy roots pop, seasoned here with the occasional crickets or passersby, as he welcomed in the natural environs. Replete with ambling guitar and keyboard tunes, the record opens with slightly off-kilter AM radio vibes on "Drivers." Warm strummed guitars and hazy double-tracked vocals are reinforced with piano, slide guitar, and hippie-styled vocal harmonies, while glitchy touches of electric guitar and pitch bending keep things a little wonky as the singer tries to clarify "I don't know you no more/Don't owe you no more." The brief "Home Is Just as Good as Any Place" relies instead on the keyboard, sometimes slightly off pitch, a recurring motif on the otherwise solidly harmonious set. The album seems to come to an understated climax midway through the track list on "Relax." Part piano rag, part woodland dream pop, and part bleepy noise experiment, the song is steered by a typically breezy melody that has Andrews repeating, among other lyrics, "Don't you know you're feeling fine?" Throughout, the album is approachable though textured, sweet but a bit askew, and classic, almost country-like at times, yet distinctly indie in its approach. It's an effective balance that one needn't pay much mind while enjoying Bad Posture's unsettled sylvan charms.

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