The first line of this album: “Girl, where you been?”
Erin Moran started making soul pop as A Girl Called Eddy back in 2004 with an EP, but then she was quiet until 2018. Now, two years after a 14-year hiatus, she’s released a new album. Why do I say all that? Because modern music is so often more about crowding web space, over-releasing stuff that’s b-sides (at best), and never, ever letting them forget you. Moran, on the other hand, seems okay with waiting until she’s really got something to say.
“Been Around” is mostly 1990s influenced ballads, pop/soul, with heavy sonic references to Aimee Mann and easily identified influences like Paul McCartney, Steely Dan, and The Pretenders (“Someone’s Gonna Break Your Heart” is intended as an homage to Chrissy Hynde). And her contributors all make the album even stronger. Multiple Grammy winner Paul Williams co-wrote Charity Shop Window. Yeah, the same dude who wrote “Rainbow Connection.” The production is by Daniel Tashian, who works with the great Kacy Musgraves.
Nobody will accuse Moran of being highly innovative. This album is instantly familiar. But where some critics might call it overly nostalgic or even (gasp!) unoriginal, I find nothing but wonderful, beautiful pop songs that make me feel good inside.
This is definitely an early best of 2020 contender.
Other good stuff I heard recently:
Holy Fuck’s Deleter is a solid electro album that kept my interest all the way through. Here’s the vid for the single:
And also: Last year, Angarad Drake put out a cover of Mazzy Star that was pretty excellent. It was off a $10 buck compilation you can find below. Worth a sawbuck!