Design By Humans
Published On: Mon, Apr 12th, 2021

Eric Anders and Mark O’Bitz: Sirens Go By 

Eric Anders and Mark O’Bitz
Sirens Go By
(Baggage Room Records)

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Sirens Go By marks Eric Anders and Mark O’Bitz’s second installment from their four-part series “Music in the time of coronavirus.” Written and produced remotely during the shutdown of last year, here we get eight tunes with a tight little vibe.

Ander’s high warble opens us into the slow “Love So So,” with its tight snapping beat and perfectly placed sonic atmosphere from O’Bitz’s guitar, keys, and a drum machine.

“Always Almost” is starker, with an almost Spaghetti Western soundtrack feel, especially with its opening whistling, slightly-back-in-the-mix acoustic and big dramatic strikes by O’Bitz during the choruses and the cello-like slow slicing. That whistling comes back as the lead.

“The Great Unknown” is where this whole thing comes together for me. For me, this is Ander’s best vocal (and he manages some great vocals throughout Sirens Go By). It’s just here the piano, guitar, and perfectly placed little sounds mix into such light touches; it’s as if you are waiting for this whole to come crashing down, it’s so delicate. Even when there is a real slow down near the instrumental break, the duo keeps the song exactly where it should stay.

A low organ and soft beat inform the title track that follows. I like the call-back in the chorus and how the organ just rises enough but then dies away each time.

“We Sing Goodbye” ends, featuring cool sleight-of-hand echo guitar effects trilling under Ander’s pleading. It’s a true reveal of these two men at their rawest and I feel it’s a perfect ender to Sirens Go By.

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Eric Anders and Mark O’Bitz: Sirens Go By