Eddie Berman has been writing songs since he was a California teenager. His bedroom demos have earned substantial play on vanguard public radio station KCRW 89.9 FM, he’s recorded and played throughout North America and Europe, and he performed for several thousand people over dozens of sold out London residency shows in partnership with British singer Laura Marling. In fact, while recording a live EP with Marling in 2013, he realized that the way to make a record was to strip the process down, to get at essence of the song. “Some of my favorite records are recorded that way—people sitting in a room, capturing what they capture. There’s going to be a creaking chair. A solo isn’t going to be perfect. You’re not going to sing that line the way you’d planned it. But I love that,” says Berman. “Why would you overcomplicate these things?”
Since coming to that realization, Berman has released several albums worth of songs that feel lived-in and human—ever appropriate, as they are stark and honest examinations of the impulses, neuroses and desires that push each of us from one day and into the next.
For years singer-songwriter Brian Larney had been a band guy quietly amassing a solo back catalog of exquisite pop-rock. Though he felt fulfilled in the collaborative partnership of a band, deep down he always wondered whether he could create something uniquely his own. With the sophisticatedly accessible At The Starting Line (Nunya Records) he proves he can, and boldly showcases his personal and prodigious songwriting gifts.
Noted cinematic Americana songwriter David Mayfield produced the album at SUMA Recording Studios in Painesville, OH. Larney was a fan of David’s work in The David Mayfield Parade and sought an audio vérité production aesthetic with organic performances captured with pristine fidelity. “In the past, when I recorded, I tried to make everything perfect. I would do so many takes. I squeezed the life out of the music,” Larney explains. “David brought out this air of ‘acceptance’ in the music where expression was paramount.”