New England is Jason Anderson's debut release outside of the Wolf Colonel moniker. Where Wolf Colonel hits on a band-oriented pop/rock feel à la Guided By Voices, Anderson as a solo artist creates a much looser, intimate affair, touching on folk and country, weaving his way like Alasdair Roberts or Will Oldham-related projects might. New England's delicate interplay of instruments captures a vibe that staggers at times, but the ebb and flow is always endearing. Anderson creates a sad, saloon improvisation with a pickup band feel on "Pen Pals" and "Hold On" -- piano, bass, and guitars twinkle along backing each other up against Anderson's confessional vocals. The wonderful highlights of New England are the moments of vocal exchange between Jason Anderson and Phil Elvrum and Mirah on "You Fall" and "A Book Laid on Its Binding," enhancing the melancholy vibe that the acoustic guitar and piano create throughout New England. Jason Anderson presents an excellent debut with New England, which guides listeners in a slightly different direction than that of Wolf Colonel, but in an area that fans of melancholy rock will definitely enjoy.
AllMusic Review by Francis Arres
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