High In Place
Year after year the New York City we know, in constant flux, changes with some parts disappearing altogether. The Brooklyn venue where the three-piece EZTV played their first show two years ago? Gone. The East Village record store that stocked the band's first tape - shuttered. As the band watch their compatriots move out of the city to cheaper pastures, it's as if New York itself is saying: "Drop dead." But the shining "High Flying Faith" — the first song written for the album — is a refutation of urban weariness, it's title acting as a makeshift motto for the optimism (and stubbornness) that is key to New York bands like EZTV. It's a song that best shows how EZTV operate: toeing the line between past and present, with a keen ear for experimentation that never lets the songs hew too far into genre nostalgia. Many of the band's foundational inspirations — the Feelies' jangle, the upside-down pop architecture of Arthur Russell's The Necessaries, Shoes' aching harmonies — are back in play on their sophomore album, though new instruments and feels abound throughout. The advantage to living in New York? Eventually all your friends come to visit. EZTV invited some like-minds into the studio — Jenny Lewis, Chris Cohen, Martin Courtney and Matt Kallman of Real Estate, John Andrews of Quilt, Nic Hessler and Mega Bog — to guest. Aptly recorded on a tape machine purchased from a Lower East Side Studio that was going out of business, in a space where the New York City skyline both loomed and inspired through its glass windows, High in Place is an album of ten golden pop songs worthy of any era.