Album Rating: 8.5 – Anti-Trump
Eric Anders is a Californian artist who started producing and recording music in his late thirties and has already released six albums. His latest record, Eleven Nine, is a ten-track politically charged album that criticizes Trump. Produced and mixed by Mathew Emerson Brown (Trespassers William), the album features guitarists Jeff Fielder (Mark Lanegan) and Tyler Nuffer as well. Eric will donate all the album proceeds to Lambda Legal.
For Millennials and Generation X, today’s politics may be the most turbulent and corrupt one that they’ll get to experience (hopefully). Eric Anders dissects history and modern American politics in his record Eleven Nine – an anti-Trump album he produced to support Lambda Legal. The organization is dedicated in protecting the fundamental rights of LGBT community and those living with HIV. Anders uses Eleven Nine as his way to contribute to a cause, but it’s also a space for him to reflect and find refuge from absurdity.
Opening up with the acoustic-like, slo-mo jam “A Man For No Season,” Anders immediately uses historical evidence by chanting “Sir Thomas More / Did Henry the eighth / Ever test your faith?” From the beginning, he strikes an evident connection between today’s so-called democracy and monarchy. He keeps interwining past events with present ones to illustrate the feeling of backtracking that many people are experiencing. “How low d’we go with slavery then / How low our aboriginal sin / How low against the Vietminh / How low before it ends” croons Anders in “How Low And Why.” Adding historical heftiness to his narrative, he hinges past issues with contemporary affairs to remind us how much we’ve experienced yet not learned from it.
“They said it was just a little white lie / We were told before goodnight / These lies of black and white” sings Anders in “Big World Abide.” Fueled with wiry chords and ensuing meditative ambiance, Anders swings from criticism to mockery towards Trump. He even gives warning in “Looking Forward to You Fall” where he chants, “So fond of Russia / It’s clever use of power / But what is owed to Putin now?” But not all songs are tempered with hope; there are few where you can feel the exhaustion and emotional claustrophobia of not being able to turn things around as fast as one wants. “So wrong / Swingin’ further right / So long innocence o’ mine / How long before we set this right?” croons Anders in “So Wrong.” He similarly frames the sense of loss that drains many in “This Fire Has Burned Too Long” and “Who’ll Stop the Rain.”
“We sing of home / Out of tune / Demand our home / Ill attuned / Not just your home / You don’t live alone.” Anders’ musings of his home country in “Inside the Sacrifice Zones” is nestled between the public’s trauma and demand for change. Mostly powered by piano taps, he delicately taps into a divided nation where people’s idea of how “home” should look like is in limbo. He further takes this notion in “I Hear Them All (This Land Is Your Land)” where he coalesces a classic work with his own to portray the disintegration of a country under the current government.
Eleven Nine has strong elements of alt-country and rock in a much loose and muted way – to the point that it borders on acoustic ambiance. He compiles the echoing guitar strings and piano drops in a soft structure that makes the record an even-leveled collection of slow songs. And while this should feel boring, it isn’t – instead the emptiness he songsculpts provides a contemplative space for its listeners to digest all the mayhem that is going in modern politics.
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Get Eleven Nine here.
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