Paul DeHaven’s second LP, Echoes and Overtones, came about initially while he was in the midst of writing and rehearsing for the recording of a record with a full band with abundant material to choose from. That’s when he realized he had a solid set of “more mellow, acoustic guitar-based songs that fit really well together.” So, while not rehearsing material for the full band he sorted through those songs in his home studio.
Rather than employ the studio tricks that might go into a more produced record, DeHaven aimed for simpler arrangements and a sense of intimacy. In the past DeHaven said that he has had a tendency to hide behind his songwriting a bit and in the production, but on Echoes and Overtones his voice is clear and central showcasing his gift for subtle dynamics and deft emotional coloring. This is not to say it’s a record with just DeHaven and a guitar or mandolin, as synth sweeps through or otherwise provides background atmosphere, tasteful and textural percussion helps to anchor the rhythm and Sarah Anderson — DeHaven’s bandmate in Heavy Diamond Ring and former co-founder of Paper Bird — contributes vocals to deepen and shade the warm harmonies. But all of those elements serve to augment, accent, illuminate and give a musical context to the pastoral storytelling and imagery of each song.
The outro of “Easy On My Mind” sounds like something written at sunset with tones like birds warbling in the background to set a scene that ties ones memories to a specific time, season and environment as recurring thematic elements of this record. Long time live songs like “Souvenir American Gun” and “I Love You Love Me” find their way onto this album as perfect companions to a set of songs that are especially reflective and bringing to vibrant life memories of tender, quiet moments that we take for granted in our busy lives.
Ubisububi Room | March 5