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In an act of self-preservation, the Comas took a well-deserved break in 2007, leaving Andrew Herod free to leave New York in pursuit of non-musical endeavors. Spending time in North Carolina, California, and various states in between, Herod nevertheless found himself drawn back to music, prompting a new round of songwriting and the subsequent formation of the Electric Owls. Recorded with a wide cast of indie rock veterans, Ain't Too Bright is the product of Herod's wanderings and eventual relocation to Asheville, NC, whose mountainous surroundings and unique, hippie/indie culture can be heard on the album's acoustic numbers. Songs like "Darken Me," "Haint in a Holler," and "Kallispell" are rooted in the classic guitar 'n' vocals approach, with various orchestral flourishes (including analog synthesizer and hammered dulcimer) adding psychedelic gauze to the mix. Elsewhere, Herod embraces every nook and cranny of his muse, from the breezing power pop of "Halloween Mask" to the expansive "Magic Show," which combines Arcade Fire's zealous attack with the buzz of '80s keyboards. Such a quirky, diverse foundation is held together by Herod's voice, a chameleonic tenor that's capable of crooning and yelping in equal measure. Contributions from members of the Gutter Twins and Archers of Loaf don't hurt, of course, but Ain't Too Bright is still Herod's baby, an engaging debut (of sorts) that stands alongside his best work with the Comas.
Performance CreditsElectric Owls Primary Artist
Steve Wilmans Vocals
Matt Gentling Electric Bass,Upright Bass
Jon Ashley Glockenspiel,Piano (Grand)
Jason Caperton Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Cully Symington Percussion,Drums
Jessica Tomasin Vocals
Courtney White Vocals
Mary Sparks Hammered Dulcimer
James Dedakis Percussion
Eryn Johnson Vocals
Andy Herod Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Moog Synthesizer
Matthew Long Electric Guitar,E-bow
Technical CreditsJon Ashley Audio Production
Julian Dreyer Audio Production
Electric Owls Audio Production
Andy Herod Composer