the autumn defense: fifth

fifthwhen a side project lives for more than 13 years and releases its fifth album it sure is pretty serious and probably more than a side project.

the autumn defense was brought to life shortly after the new millenium had arrived. john stirrat, bass player of legendary illinois based alternative country outfit wilco and his friend pat sansone were the initiators of the autumn defense. sansone even joined wilco and has been a member of them since.

while wilco is dominated by the strong songwriting of creative genius jeff tweedy, stirrat and sansone are in full command to steer the autumn defense. and instead of the alternative country rock of wilco, the autumn defense explores, again, the genre of soft rock and the whole album gives me vibes of california and spring and summer, although i have never been there. it is very easy going, mostly very melodic music that the band continues to deliver.


the autumn defense (press photo)

crosby, stills, nash & young and america come to my mind while the autumn defense helps me through this sunday and delivers a part of its soundtrack. stirrat himself has named former american pop bands love and big star as very important to the music of the autumn defense.

a few reviews have pointed out that this album is far too ‘pleasant’ (magnet) or “too clean” (consequence of sound). but awoostockholm agrees with q: “hotpot of classy, classic songwriting, rich in texture and flavour.” and the 13th floor: “no, the autumn defense isn’t breaking any new musical ground here, but for those who have a fondness for well-crafted, melodic songs with just a hint of melancholy; these 12 tracks should be right up your alley.”

the autumn defense will play a few gigs in texas in the days to come. in may, they will cross the atlantic and ‘take a holiday in spain’, luckily playing concerts in madrid, barcelona, valencia, guadalajara and san sebastian.

listen to: why don’t we / this thing that i’ve found


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