Wilco’s bassist John Stirratt and multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone steal some time from their day jobs and step out with their appropriately titled fifth long-player under the Autumn Defense moniker. Fifth captures ’70s AM-drenched, hook-laden tunes in the vein of pop masters like the Beatles, Beach Boys, Badfinger, Big Star, and Bacharach.
Stirratt and Sansone split songwriting duties, with a common characteristic being lyrics for the ladies that range from wistful (Stirratt’s opener, “None Of This Will Matter,” lovely in its simple structure) to playfully suave (Sansone’s Latin-y and lounge-ful “Why Don’t We”).
Fifth is the first album on which the Autumn Defense has utilized their core live band – drummer Greg Wieczorek (Norah Jones, Joseph Arthur), bassist Jim Haggerty, and guitarist John Pirucello – and it shows on arrangements such as Sansone’s “This Thing That I’ve Found” and “Things On My Mind,” which channel George Harrison and Jeff Lynne, respectively.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s July ’14 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.