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Gretchen's Wheel - Fragile State (Self-Released)

18 April 2015

Gretchen’s Wheel is an exciting new band from Nashville, TN, fronted by mastermind Lindsay Murray. On their debut album, Fragile State, the band is influenced by the likes of Matthew Sweet, The Posies, and other denizens of 90’s alternative/power pop. A firm standing in Nashville country and singer/songwriter also augments the sound of Gretchen’s Wheel. It’s only fitting then that the album was produced by Ken Stringfellow, known for his work with The Posies, R.E.M., and Big Star, and features drums from Ira Elliot of Nada Surf. Lindsay’s smoky vocals themselves are reminiscent of the honesty of Aimee Mann and the etherealness of Elizabeth Fraser.

Remarkably, this album could have easily been released in the early 90’s, and wistfully effortless slices of pop like “Second to Last” and “Why Try” would have found a perfect home on any turn of the decade teenage romantic comedy. As rootsy as all of the songs are here, there’s also a wonderful spacey quality as well, shown off best on the guitars and harmonies of “My Lullaby.” Undoubtedly, however, one of the best songs here is the maudlin, string-laden “Overcome.” It’s buried near the end of the record, but it’s a definite highlight. The entire album, however, is worth getting lost in, time and time again.

 

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