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Eli August & The Abandoned Buildings: A Heartache Suite
Created by Mister M on 6/17/2014 2:15:18 PM

Mister M hears the progression of Eli August on his new EP with The Abandoned Buildings,  A Heartbreak Suite.


If someone were to ask me “Where should I start if I wanted to listen to Eli August?” my answer might be A Heartache Suite. As an EP, it neatly encapsulates where August is going and where he has been.

Eli August & The Abandoned Building’s debut, To the Weak and the Weary, saw a new direction for the lovelorn troubadour. A melancholy streak ran through his solo, acoustic-guitar oriented work.  While To the Weak and the Weary showed no upswing on his “Bah! People!” view, the addition of a full band changed the perspective for the listener. There was a newfound bounce in the music. Without the lyrics, there might be a sense of optimism. This strange feeling that could be mistaken for happiness  continues on A Heartache Suite.

The Suite begins with an overture (“Overture”) and chugs into “Although You’re Gone.” It gallops and charges with tension and release. There’s a hint of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” in the pacing. “Holy Ghost” dials it back just a tad. Musically, it’s downright jaunty. Lyrically, August draws from his big bag of loss and regret. The exceeding lapsed catholic in me beams with delight over adding a line about “a bastard and a goddamned fool” to a song called “Holy Ghost.” “Slow Start” revs into a skanking pick-it-up-pick-it-up-pick-it-up mode after an appropriate slow start. The album wraps up with “Wrought.” Instead of bouncing, it returns to August’s ballads. While not overwrought, it slathers on the ache. Stylistically, it echoes his solo work, but with greatly expanded instrumentation.

A Heartbreak Suite would be accessible for the Eli August newcomer. The melancholy undercurrent (more like an undertow, really) is disguised by upbeat music. It’s a subtle dichotomy, although I suppose that the album sports an upfront title. With “Overture,” “Slow Start” and “Wrought,” there is apparently also a tendency to name songs overtly. The Suite opens with the expanding sound and style of the Abandoned Buildings and wraps up with a nod to Eli August’s solo releases.

The indiegogo-funded A Heartbreak Suite is available via http://www.eliaugust.com/.

 

Mr. M plays theremin and other oddball musical devices in the old-timey mad scientist band The White City Rippers and twangs washtub bass in the steampunk Britney Spears tribute band Spears and Gears. He also spins the amber oldies with the Lords & Ladies DJ crew.

 

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