Logan Anderson’s “The Company” is a Contemporary Approach to the Slightly Dated
Once upon a time bands were formed, wrote some songs, played some gigs, got some buzz and then went into the studio to put it on wax. Those days are largely gone. The new mode is more of an auteur model, in which an artist labors away in the home studio like a Junior Varsity Brian Wilson, then putting the album out online and perhaps forming a band to build off any resultant buzz.
That’s the tack taken on The Company, the latest release from Ashland-based musician Logan Anderson.
“I often begin recording before I have written the whole song,” Anderson wrote on his website. “If I know the exact piano part that I want, I will record it; then I’ll work on writing the rest of the music. In my case, my writing and recording process occur at the same time; it’s kind of like building a road without being able to see the exact route the road will eventually take.”
And for The Company, a significant percentage of that year and half long process of road-building was just moving the mic around to see what things sound like. Also available on Anderson’s website is a long list of “instruments” he used on the album, everything from jars full of popcorn to 55-gallon drums to butter dishes.
“No keyboards, samples, virtual instruments, or drum machines were used at all,” says Anderson. “I love playing and banging on things, and being able to feel and hear live sounds.”
That work shows. The resulting collection of 14 songs Anderson released to Bandcamp in early fall is sonically diverse enough that Anderson describes the collection as stretching from indie rock to Hans Zimmer-esque soundtracks. There is heavy electronic influence in the percussion, with some songs sounding somewhere between poppier industrial and house remixes of soul songs. There are even—I shit you not—shades of C&C Music Factory’s spoken-word sections.
the album’s first single “Breaking Traditions,” sounds a lot like a dance remix of “Run,” from Pink Floyd’s The Wall.
It’s next tune, “Reaching,” has vocal harmonies and a driving beat reminiscent of The Faint and a rockier version of early Fischerspooner, before suddenly a fun and sudden shift to a major key at the end.
Another standout track is the album’s 12th, “Falling Down,” which is a duet between Anderson and a female vocalist. The song has a David Gray-esque feel; a catchy acoustic ballad with a softly driving beat revving it up.
People that think America doesn’t make anything anymore are obviously unacquainted with the number of basement and garage albums it pumps out every year. Volumes upon volumes, most awkwardly bad. The Company is the opposite. Recording-wise, it’s on par with just about anything put out on a professional level. That said, it’s overall aesthetic may be a bit behind the times, with a more late ‘90s/early ‘00s vibe than the sparser arrangements and lackadaisical vocal styles of modern studio indie-pop. But that new internet production model has to some degree made even the idea of being contemporary irrelevant as distribution is no longer controlled by gatekeepers. Whatever you’re into, or into making, can be put out there. And there is never a shortage of people looking for new old songs. They’ll find much to like on The Company.