LP Review: EZTV – High In Place

Brooklyn is the New York City where you feel at home. There is no hustle or whirlwind of pressure, as you stroll down the streets. It is the place where you can walk into a record store in a newly gentrified area and admire the Manhattan skyline just across the river. It is where corner stores now hold organic, vegan products and elderberry sodas. It is a peaceful place where creativity is set free from the stifling concrete maze that so many dream of. EZTV’s High In Place is the Brooklyn that I’ve come to love, like a waking sunrise gently opening up the day for discovery.

Brooklyn-based EZTV began as a solo home recording project for sound engineer and lead vocalist, Ezra Tenenbaum, who eventually recruited bassist Shane O’Connell and former Widowspeak drummer Michael Stasiak. Their 2nd LP was recorded on a tape machine adding to the album’s shimmering nostalgic feel. The 10-song album features a little help from their friends: Jenny Lewis, Real Estate’s Martin Courtney and Matt Kallman, Chris Cohen, Quilt’s John Andrews, Nic Hessler and Mega Bog.

High In Place is a feel good, calming album. Their sophomore effort is hardly a departure from their 2015 debut Calling Out. They are consistent in their style and overall aesthetic with only the ever-so-slightly additional melancholy. At a glance, it’s gentle psych-rock with a mix of folk and ‘60s sensibility. The band has a “Deeply Influential” playlist on Spotify filled with power pop, soul, jangle pop renaissance and folk songs that inspired their 2nd LP. The tracks range from the ‘60s to the ‘80s which shows why it can be so difficult to exactly pinpoint EZTV’s sound. The band uses mellow jangle guitar with added riffs, wispy vocals, cymbals and steady beats with unexpected flourishes, sonic distortions and melodic bass.

One of the album’s first singles, “Reason to Run,” embodies a stroll through a park induced with a haze, making time pass even slower than usual. The beat lags ever-so-slightly giving a lethargic feel with fuzz bass and slowly progressing guitars that eventually pick up. “States of Confusion” sounds like a nice breeze with wide strums and feels like falling leaves with lyrics of “everything is moving through states of confusion.” It speaks of how the world is in a constant state of flux and how it is necessary to accept all the changes in order to flourish, an everyday for New Yorkers. Whereas, “Hammock” speaks largely to the sentiment of a generation that is dominated by an overarching fear of being alone: “I spent hours on my phone/ why does it feel strange to be alone.” The tracks deal with familiar sentiments drenched in comforting tones.

High In Place drops September 30th via Captured Tracks. The album easily fits into late summer days that trickle into a warm fall daze. It has an unquestionably golden glow surrounding it, keeping you centered and comfortably away from the noise of the city.

Listen to “Reason to Run” here:

Words by Misha Sesar