Artists: Eric Anders: Vocals; and Mark O’Bitz: Backing vocals, guitars and keys
Album: ‘Sirens Go By;’ Release date: February 11, 2021; Produced and mixed by: Mike Butler; Mastered by Jamal Ruhe; Label: Baggage Room Records
Crafting sentimental songs that equally challenge and gratify listeners isn’t always an easy and natural process for musicians. But singer-songwriter Eric Anders and his longtime collaborator, guitarist-composer Mark O’Bitz, powerfully created astonishingly emotional and relatable tunes on their newly released adult alternative album as a duo, ‘Sirens Go By.’ The eight-track acoustic record features meaningful and soulful lyrics and instrumentation that proves the two musicians are sincere in their determination to find their place in the world.
Anders and O’Bitz have been releasing a prolific stream of new music, and showcasing their ever-expanding depth of emotion and conceptual impact, since they unveiled their debut LP as a duo, ‘Of All These Things,’ in 2018. ‘Sirens Go By’ is the latest daring, bold effort from the California-based duo, which is releasing their multiple-song collection, ‘Music in the Time of Coronavirus,’ in three installments. All of the tunes for the collection were written and recorded remotely during the pandemic last year, and represent the musicians’ strong adaptability to any situation they find themselves in.
The duo’s latest album begins with the all-too-relatable, ’90s-inspired adult alternative entry, ‘A Love So So.’ Anders croons in emotionally heartfelt and remorseful vocals about romance failing as a result of separation, and that people are rarely able to capture the feeling of paradise they felt before their life unexpectedly changed. His vocals are supported by a subdued blend of guitar riffs, drum beats and piano notes that create a sonic atmosphere that lasts throughout the rest of the record.
‘Sirens Go By’ then delves into its second track, the honest and emotional ‘Always Almost.’ The dramatic and acoustic guitar riffs from O’Bitz provide a sentimental backdrop for Anders’ vocals as he reflects on his struggle over letting go of his relationships. However, he emotionally reveals that it’s easier not to fight and prolong his goodbye with the person he loves in the noteworthy tune.
Another memorable entry on Anders and O’Bitz’s latest record is its fourth song, ‘Horizons We Can’t See Past.’ The track stands out with its folk-inspired acoustic guitar riffs, which help drive the singer’s heartfelt vocals and lyrics. Anders cleverly croons about taking control over his fate and where he’s going in life by comparing his emotional journey to holding on to the side of a boat that’s miles away from the shore. He also proclaims that if he can hold onto his existence during his most tumultuous times, he has faith will ultimately survive those rough times in his life.
The LP begins to wind down with its penultimate title tune. ‘Sirens Go By’ is one of the most endearing and memorable entries on Anders and O’Bitz’s latest release, as it emphasizes the album’s recurring themes, including the universal feeling that the world was fighting a losing battle with the invisible enemy of COVID-19. Reminiscent of Neil Young’s signature ballads, Anders croons in earthy, rootsy folk vocals that while people can sympathize with the world’s pain, they can also feel helpless in knowing what to do to help those around them.
Anders and O’Bitz’s new record then comes to an end with its best song, ‘We Sing Goodbye.’ Driven by glimmering and soothing guitar strumming, the emotionally raw track offers an insightful conclusion about how people want to continue loving the people in their lives, but ultimately know that they have to move on. Anders proclaims in sentimental vocals that while people dread saying goodbye, they’ll always be able to cherish the time they spent together.
Crafting sentimental tracks that equally challenge and gratify listeners isn’t always an easy and natural process for musicians. But Anders and O’Bitz stunningly created astonishingly emotional and relatable tunes on their newly released adult alternative album. ‘Sirens Go By’ features meaningful and soulful lyrics and instrumentation that prove the two musicians are sincere in their determination to find their place in the world.