Addy began as the solo project of Virginia resident Adam Watkins, but he’s brought a few friends on board since then. Eclipse is their debut, full-length and, like everything Addy have recorded to date, every note here was produced in a home studio. It’s worth emphasizing these facts up front because sometimes they make sense, but much more frequently they seem simply unbelievable.
That means that sometimes, this thing ticks all the lo-fi bedroom pop boxes you might expect: guitars strum and twang; sequenced drums pop, and some songs sound simultaneously up close and far away. “Garden Snake” starts with electric fuzz, gently plucked strings, and soft chimes, moves forward slowly by way of sliding, swirling guitar sounds and Watkins’ melancholy drawl, and finishes with the slightest of crescendos and found neighborhood sounds. Birds chirp; a dog barks; clattery things clatter.
You can imagine Watkins meticulously stitching vocal tracks together for “Elevator,” and in the beginning of “Equinox,” it sounds like he could be singing somewhere in your home, let alone his.
Elsewhere, though, Eclipse opens up. It swells; it blooms; layers of violin, pedal steel, and subtly pitch-shifted vocals bring an oddly orchestral feel to the proceedings. Befitting its title, “Easier” (yeah, there are a lot of track names beginning with ‘e’) is remarkably laid-back listening, and it’s quite astonishing that “Planted” is the result of a bedroom-based home-recording setup. It’s a warm and wide and wonderfully confident slice of modern, bubbly folk that, in the nicest possible way, sounds like it shipped a million units just last week.
Those facts are getting hazy now, huh? Eclipse constantly and consistently belies the fact that it’s the work of people relatively new at this album writing thing. It doesn’t feel like debut material at all. And it feels full and free, not limited or lacking, despite its home-studio origins.
This is hazy indie and heartfelt folk for fans of Bon Iver, (Sandy) Alex G, and all the songs that play over the end credits of upbeat movies about people’s feelings.