All Those I Know
Aided by a sizeable supporting cast that includes members of Dirty Projectors, Shearwater, and Headlights, Decibully’s Ryan Weber and pal Eric Osterman have focused their electronic-folk project Eric & Magill on rectifying the divide between simple, earnest, nostalgic folk-rock and highly polished, manipulated pop. All Those I Know opens with a single repeating bass drum; some quick, lovely acoustic guitar picking; and a simple string arrangement. Before the end of the first minute, however, the landscape changes drastically—Weber’s voice hovers over the track with thin, ghostly reverb while drums, distorted electric guitar, and various effects are layered on top of each other until the song becomes a thick, muddy rock mess.
This dynamic—juxtaposing minimalism and excess—is what Eric & Magill toys with to great effect over the course of All Those I Know. The album’s two most straightforward pop songs, “You Make It So Good” and “Gentle, Polite” are all lighthearted vibes and full of bouncy hooks, and wouldn’t sound out of place on a Top 40 station. Alternately, the sentimental “Should We All Wake Up” and “Pontoon Boats” are campfire songs ornamented with whistles and late-night vocal harmonies. Painstakingly assembled by collaborators living in different states, All Those I Know is rooted in a skewed but highly successful method of re-establishing the communal aspect of folk music in a time when the Internet is just as likely to ostracize as unite.
You can download All Those I Know for free here.