CD: Leland Sundries’ “The Apothecary EP”
(L’echiquier Records, 2010):
By day, Nick Loss-Eaton is a music publicist in NYC, “stoking the star-making machinery behind the popular song,” as Joni Mitchell likes to sing.
But by night, he’s the man behind Leland Sundries. Or rather, considering that he wrote all of the tunes, sings them and plays electric, acoustic and resonator guitars, as well as banjo, accordion, harmonica and an array of keyboards on this debut disc, perhaps it’s more accurate to say that he is Leland Sundries.
Whichever way you lean on that discussion, this is a mighty intriguing sample of Loss-Eaton’s musical vision. It’s dry as a bone, and his brittle, talk-sing style conjures up the influence of Leonard Cohen and Lou Reed in equal parts.
Musically speaking, the five songs here balance back-porch Appalachian minor-key country-blues dirges (the opening “Elegy”) with decidedly urban, Velvet Underground-like, fuzzed-out street-strolls (“High on the Plains”).
Indie alt-country singer Laura Minor chimes in for a duet on the closing “Oh My Sweet Cantankerous Baby,” her little-girl-lost voice the perfect antithesis of Loss-Eaton’s world-weary, deadpan drawl.
Leland Sundries makes their Nippertown debut at Circus Cafe in Saratoga Springs at 10pm tonight in support of his just-released CD. Brooklyn singer-songwriter Will Levith will be sharing the bill along with opening act Racing City Ghosts.