Austin Sirch, Austin Sirch | Album Review | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Please support our work!

Donate  Advertise

Austin Sirch, Austin Sirch 

Published December 7, 2005 at 3:27 p.m.

(Self-released, CD)

Vermont songwriter Austin Sirch is a new face in the Green Mountain music community. Judging by his self-titled debut, he's sure to become a familiar one. With a hazy, anti-folk, experimental bent, his new record is uniquely refreshing.

Sirch's fragile, earnest falsetto is the centerpiece of the disc, which also features upright bass, percussion and strings. Although the charming, homemade packaging contains a track listing, the CD itself is sequenced as a single tune. This forced me to consider the album as a whole -- not a bad thing with music this amorphous.

Fans of free-flag-flying artists such as Six Organs of Admittance and Akron/Family will find plenty to enjoy here. Like the aforementioned acts, Sirch marries winning melodies to woozily ramshackle song structures. At one point in the proceedings, his multitracked vocals are joined by a quick blast of backwards cello. Elsewhere, the music recalls humid summer afternoons and the buzzing of insects in tall grass. Sirch's emotional cooing is solid throughout, as he delivers romantic prose like a bohemian Romeo.

While the production -- by ace ear Michael Chorney -- is decidedly lo-fi, the lack of polish only enhances the material's emotional immediacy. Although the liner notes are spare, it appears most of the music was tracked by Sirch alone. The recording's weakest aspect is its drum performances. While the beats are interesting, occasional rhythmic misfires come across as more sloppy than avant-garde.

Overall, what makes this record so special is its utter lack of self-consciousness. Sirch sounds perfectly comfortable letting it all hang out, musically speaking. This easygoing confidence makes his left-of-center compositions remarkably enjoyable. Although young men strumming acoustics is hardly a new phenomenon, his unique spin on the timeworn tradition recognizes few boundaries.

Sirch is an enormously promising talent whose work reveals an active musical mind. It's nice to hear local music that takes such bold chances. If this is the future of the singer-songwriter genre, I say, bring it on.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

More By This Author

About The Author

Casey Rea

Casey Rea

Casey Rea was the Seven Days music editor from 2004 until 2007. He won the 2005 John D. Donoghue award for arts criticism from the Vermont Press Association.


Comments are closed.

From 2014-2020, Seven Days allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we've appreciated the suggestions and insights, right now Seven Days is prioritizing our core mission — producing high-quality, responsible local journalism — over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in Album Review

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2024 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401

Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Help
Website powered by Foundation