Review- “Your Place”- Eastborough

reviewed by Michael Thomas

Once again I have fallen prey to a ukelele and a pretty voice. So it goes for Stefani Guzman, otherwise known as Eastborough. Your Place is a solid collection of indie-pop songs that will be sure to stick around in your head for a while.

One of the most stellar songs on the album starts off the album- the playful “Shuffle & Slide.” I could easily see this song being marketed for the purpose of an advertisement- it’s lighthearted and fun, featuring the lovely ukulele and some xylophone key tapping.

“Soft Step” kicks up the energy a little bit, particularly in the chorus as Guzman sings “Where are we running to?” The synths also present in the chorus don’t feel at all gratuitous.”Absent President” even has a bit of a rock vibe.

“Stop” is a good song that showcases Guzman’s diversity. It would be a regular medium-tempo pop number were it not for the great horns (which are also forcefully present in the title track among other places) and the whispering background vocals of another band member.

“Having Fun Yet” has a lot going on- it starts with the strumming of a ukulele and adds in what sounds like an accordion and some background vocals before Guzman pitches her own vocals. Pretty soon, little touches like a shaker and finger snaps come in, and before you know it a full song has bloomed out of what sounded at first like something very sparse.

Of course, Your Place isn’t filled with just playful pop numbers. “When You Ask” is a heartfelt, sombre song featuring a line that has stuck in my mind: “This heart is burning but the flames aren’t showing.” As well, “You Call I Fold,” while slower-paced, may be the most album’s most powerful song. The vocal exclamations make the song sound like a rallying cry.

Your Place is the perfect album to play on a bright sunny day to get your mood even better. You’ll be charmed, to say the least.

Top Tracks: “Shuffle & Slide”; “When You Ask”; “You Call, I Fold”

Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)

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