ALBUM REVIEW: EZTV Finds Accidental Eminence on Debut Album – Calling Out

EZTV – Calling Out | July 10 | Captured Tracks | Order via iTunes

EZTV – Calling Out
In a time when indie bands are stretching for any sort of angle they can get to gain some semblance of fame, it’s nice to stumble across a band like EZTV that in their own way, stumbled upon themselves.

Fronted by Ezra Tenenbaum and based out of New York, EZTV came together while attempting to try out foras the U.S. touring band for the J. Spaceman-led space rock group, Spiritualized. Tenenbaum, a musician and musical engineer, had been working on solo material in his home on an 8 Track machine, and recruited friends to help round out the songs. Shane O’Connell joined to help play bass, and O’Connell suggested an old college friend and Brooklyn musician Michael Stasiak on drums. However, the trio’s first opportunity to perform with each other came from the audition for Spiritualized, which the band eventually didn’t land.

Stasiak insisted that the band continue working on Ezra’s music in his incredibly small rehearsal space. Eventually, the band found enough chemistry, and actually acknowledged the notion of performing as a band as opposed to Ezra performing solo. Tenenbaum’s back catalogue of music sprung to life with the collaborative efforts of O’Connell and Stasiak, with over 30 tracks to work with.

The band would soon head in to Thump Studios in Brooklyn to record an LP, and from the sessions, a debut record was born.

Calling Out was made for summer listening, and effectively, seems to be perfectly timed to be released in the summer of 2015, a year that finds more and more bands redefining recent genres like lo-fi, surf rock, and even funk or R&B.

Recently more and more indie bands, needing to stand out from one another, and would often resort to extreme or abrasive personalities to gain notoriety through Twitter rants, on-stage tantrums, or overly sexualized commentary, etc. EZTV has none of that, and it’s a quality that’s so unremarkable it’s fairly noteworthy. There’s no gimmick when it comes to EZTV, just purely solid sounds with little-to-no filler.

EZTV’s debut LP starts off with an ideal introduction to the group’s sound, starting with the jangle-pop song “Bury Your Heart” that sounds like the perfect mix of Mac DeMarco, Twin Peaks and 60’s garage bands. The band’s [assumed] influence by bands like The Kinks or The Merry-Go-Round are most well understood on songs like “There Goes My Girl” and “Dust In The Sky”. The hits continue throughout the album: “The Light” features an addicting pop structure, and showcases Ezra Tenenbaum’s songwriting and low-key, laid back singing talents, writing songs about acknowledging the bad, but maintaining the bright… exactly what all great pop music should do.

“Trampoline is a summer song,” Tenenbaum states, “about sitting on roofs, boredom, and falling out of love.” Ezra continues, saying the song is one of the oldest EZTV plays, and “was written while I was listening to a lot of Murmur, smoking too much pot, and wishing I was in a band.”

EZTV’s songs are products of influences, sure, but the issue with many bands looking to capitalize on nostalgia is the audience they’re looking to reach doesn’t relate to the wistfulness. Calling Out‘s songs seem familiar but never lose track of their mission. EZTV’s debut LP is for listeners looking for music without any angles or embellishments; full of enjoyable melodies that are just simply there for one to relish in them, like the sunshine beaming in through the open window of your car as you drive solo on a summer day.

Calling Out is due out July 10 via Captured Tracks and is streaming below, courtesy of Hype Machine.