John Andrews & The Yawns – Bad Posture (2017) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

John Andrews & The Yawns – Bad Posture (2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 32:30 minutes | 355 MB | Genre: Indie
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Woodsist

Throughout years of travelling, John Andrews has documented his life with his home recordings. His first record, Bit By The Fang, found him living in the amish country of Lancaster, PA. On his latest record, Bad Posture, he waves farewell to Pennsylvania and greets the wooded hills of Barrington, NH. These songs were written slowly and quietly throughout the winter, usually late at night next to the wood stove. It was recorded in Andrews’ barn with the doors ajar, welcoming the springtime inviting the outside noises in. You can hear the crickets chirping and the occasional truck driving by. The songs themselves lend their hand like slow backwoods Beatles demos covered in a thin blanket of tape hiss. Andrews’ band, The Yawns, has been crystallized with staples from the New England freak scene: Rachel Neveu and Lukas Goudreault (MMOSS / Soft Eyes) and Joey Schneider. The album was mixed with headphones at the foot of Emma Critchett’s grave, who lived in the Yawns’ house during the 1800s. The record is an ode to her and all who have lived there. It paints a picture of living in the ”freecountry” on the precipice of a rapidly changing political climate.

Known to some as drummer for Quilt and keyboardist for Woods, the also singer/songwriter John Andrews changed things up a little for his second solo album, Bad Posture. For one, he relocated from Pennsylvania Amish country to the woods of Barrington, New Hampshire. It was there that he recorded the album in the barn of a Colonial farmhouse shared with other musicians. He also invited his housemates to perform on the album, essentially functioning as the previously fictional half of John Andrews & the Yawns. They included Rachel Neveu, Lukas Goudreault, and Joey Schneider, from bands such as Mmoss and Soft Eyes. What remains constant on his return is Andrews’ easygoing, trippy roots pop, seasoned here with the occasional crickets or passersby, as he welcomed in the natural environs. Replete with ambling guitar and keyboard tunes, the record opens with slightly off-kilter AM radio vibes on “Drivers.” Warm strummed guitars and hazy double-tracked vocals are reinforced with piano, slide guitar, and hippie-styled vocal harmonies, while glitchy touches of electric guitar and pitch bending keep things a little wonky as the singer tries to clarify “I don’t know you no more/Don’t owe you no more.” The brief “Home Is Just as Good as Any Place” relies instead on the keyboard, sometimes slightly off pitch, a recurring motif on the otherwise solidly harmonious set. The album seems to come to an understated climax midway through the track list on “Relax.” Part piano rag, part woodland dream pop, and part bleepy noise experiment, the song is steered by a typically breezy melody that has Andrews repeating, among other lyrics, “Don’t you know you’re feeling fine?” Throughout, the album is approachable though textured, sweet but a bit askew, and classic, almost country-like at times, yet distinctly indie in its approach. It’s an effective balance that one needn’t pay much mind while enjoying Bad Posture’s unsettled sylvan charms. ~ Marcy Donelson

01. Drivers
02. Old News
03. Windmill
04. Home Is Just as Good as Anyplace
05. Painting a Picture
06. Relax
07. Homesick in Heaven
08. Audrey
09. The Sun Shines Different for You