One of the true prerequisites for the creation of good music is talent, and Andrew Weiss is simply oozing with it. A multi-instrumentalist with now three solo albums under his belt, Weiss is the modern equivalent of a one-man band; he excels at playing percussion, guitar, bass, and keyboards. And, if that is not sufficient, he also provides competent vocals (both lead and background) and lyrics. Weiss is a band in a box. Open him up and you get A Time and Place, his new 9-track album.
High Fascination, Weiss’ sobriquet, was founded as a solo-recording project in 2009. Weiss, a local New York product, has released three albums since 2011. Perhaps my favorite part of the new album is Weiss’ perspicacious ear – a quality developed through listening and practicing. The premier tracks on the album are like a ripe apple: crisp melodies when you sink your teeth into the music and juicy innards when you delve into its intricacies. Also prevalent in each song is the key to the success of every young artist: a penchant for plucking influences from favorite artists and adding similar styles into the pieces. Let’s delve into the album.
“Shadow of a Ghost,” the first track on the album, begins with the pairing of a constant key riff and slowed guitar chord progression. The verse takes on a keen BritPop feel, and, of course, Britpop was inspired by bands like The Beatles and The Kinks. It is not a surprise that the Beatles and Oasis are two bands that Weiss cites as influences. The song sends me back to the late 90s when BritPop reigned supreme. This piece, though, does take on other infectious elements. There is a bluesy undertone behind the BritPop exterior – reminiscent of Beatles-like exploration. Progressive elements like those that appear at the end of the song add a post-Britpop facet - calling out to bands like Snow Patrol and Elbow. The song is a tight, well-developed piece with several catchy components that help add to its efficacy.
“Caught in the Act of Daydreaming” begins with an early OneRepublic-like keys riff that falls into percussion. The Beatles-like harmony is excellent – almost feeling like a psychedelic pop song from the late 60s. The song also plays with a bluesy component that lifts it away from traditional pop.
In September 2012, Weiss teamed up with Chris Karwaski (guitar, backing vocals), Dan Hemerlein (bass), John Meurer (keyboards, backing vocals), and Adam Holmes (drums) in NYC to form a full band. The band is currently playing venues all around the New York City area.