Billy Dechand's fourth CD, Hold On, mixes local Chapel Hill and New York attitudes. Recorded in both locations with musicians from both scenes, the CD blends indie rock, inventive pop, and rural roots with a warm vibe and vision. Guest musicians include Matt Schickele, Paul Whetstone, Jesse Richards, members of The Malarkies, My Dear Ella, Three Torches, SeepeopleS, Eyes to Space and Extreme Badasses. Comparisons to records by Beck, Neil Young, Elliot Smith, Flaming Lips, XTC, The Beatles, Talking Heads, The Band, and Guided by Voices may be tempting, depending on the song: Such Simple Love (2:37) Haunting wash of guitars set to a Thomas McGrath poem. Beautiful (3:48) Catchy pop song with chunky rhythm guitars. Sometimes Why (4:54) Plaintive, melodic, and melancholy appeal to ask why so many people have their heads up their asses. Scratch That Itch (4:07) Swampy, upbeat tune with funky Rhodes and slide guitar. Gus (4:03) Straight-ahead rock song about a can-do bus driver. Sweet Sweet Day (4:40) Piano-based song with earthy blues-gospel beat that ends up transcendence. Push (3:49) Strange and funky tune humorously mixing English and French, featuring a heavy dose of baritone sax. Just a Dream (4:17) Sad acoustic bass and piano ballad with a broad, sweeping chorus. Evil I (4:18) Beatlesque pop tune with big warm psychedelic sound. Beautiful Day (2:47) Childhood meditation that starts with just guitar and voice, then blossoms into pedal steel, marimba, and mandolin. Just One Smile (3:06) Sweet love song, proudly free of all irony. Garbage (3:23) Brit-pop/Motown toe-tapper about the Chapel Hill dump. Yes Is for Why (4:18) Instrumental: not quite jazz, or anything else. From the Sky (5:10) Billy's grand lament about 9-11 and his nation's reaction. It travels through fear and optimism, ending at an aurora of floating sounds. Hold On (2:05) Short and sweet with gentle piano and male-female harmonies. Such Simple Love (demo) (2:32) Billy's original 4-track demo. Lo-fi but loveable.
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