The Autumn Defense

The Autumn Defense (Broadmoor)

Phases & Stages

The Autumn Defense

(Broadmoor)

In 2001, Wilco's John Stirratt and Pat Sansone formed the Autumn Defense, a reverential nod to the bucolic sounds of the early Seventies that's become a full-on soft rock resurrection. The duo's third, eponymous LP is a vision of falling leaves and sun rays, decked out in woodwinds, percussion, and falsetto. Opener "Canyon Arrow" is a love letter framed with guiro scrapes and flute, while dissonant slow jam "Where You Are" is arguably the best use of triangle in recent years. Tracks like "Feel You Now" are made of the same yeast that Bread put in the oven decades ago. The best harmonies of the era shine through in "Criminal," and the hand-claps in closer "Simple Explanation" bring it on home. There's a musical landscape between Simon & Garfunkel and Devendra Banhart begging to be found in the here and now, and the Autumn Defense has settled in, sentimentality and all.

***

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