Sunday, March 20, 2005
Lawrence-based singer/songwriter Evan Saathoff crafts well-composed lo-fi indie folk in the vein of The Mountain Goats or Beat Happening.
Saathoff's deft fingerpicking carries most of the songs on "The Actor," his first full-length, which also feature the talents of bassist-turned-guitarist-turned-drummer Jacob Baum (formerly of Ghosty). At heart it is a singer/songwriter record, with a charming quirkiness that takes pride in the little eccentricities of Saathoff's hushed delivery.
The album opens with a lovely instrumental waltz with some flamenco overtones. Saathoff's dark humor shows through on songs like "Don't Stab Me When It's Cold Outside," while the title track recalls Crooked Fingers with its sunset-and-tumbleweed Americana vibe.
Saathoff never seems to push his songs too hard, preferring to hold back and let the simple melodies speak for themselves. It's a record that could have been created 10 years ago or 10 years from now.