It usually takes folks at least a half hour to totally charm your socks off but Leland Sundries accomplish the task in just 22 minutes on their potent debut, The Apothecary EP (released October 5). Led by the warm, diverse voice and resonator guitar of Nick Loss-Eaton, this Brooklyn-based project grasps antique folk forms and replants them in contemporary soil, nurturing music that’s old-timey and newfangled all at once and more than a touch timeless.
Just five-tracks deep, The Apothecary EP presents a remarkably diverse band able to go black edged, American Recordings folksy on opener Elegy and then chugging away like the descendents of New York-era Lou Reed (a pleasant change from the endless Velvets recreationists) on High On The Plains. Like many fine rock bands past, this shape-shifting feels of a piece, the different hair styles, so to speak, of a group interested in keeping their options open. The rest of the EP is equally satisfying and convincing. Hey Self-Defeater could be the greatest Uncle Tupelo song not actually written by the Americana pioneers. The Main In The Giant Russian Overcoat has a nice jangly chop to it, something that might have come from Athens, GA in the 80s or perhaps a lost Soft Boys number, and closer Oh My Sweet Cantankerous Baby is the kind of burnished gold any Texas singer-songwriter would give his left nut to pen. Loss-Eaton’s lyrical approach lures one in, eschewing obvious moves but not a good hook when one saunters up to him. He paints scenes that breathe – sometimes smelling of booze and a hint of charming desperation – and move around in ways that court a listener very, very effectively. Keep this band on your radar if you know what’s good for you.
Leland Sundries is currently in the midst of an East Coast tour. Find the dates here and go check ’em out in the flesh and pick up the EP in person.