Review: Andrew Huston’s “Going Away” Deserves Your Attention
Artist: Andrew Huston
Album: Going Away
Released: August 4, 2017
Genre: Alt Country
“Going Away” is a “no-nonsense”, alt-country EP that warrants your time. Andrew Huston’s songwriting is purposefully ambiguous, but easily relatable. The Philadelphia-based artist’s inspiration from Wilco’s “A.M.”, can be felt on “Isn’t It Interesting”. This song displays Andrew’s unique talent of crafting upbeat melodies about negative experiences. Instead of wallowing in despair, Huston forms those memories into catchy sing-alongs that will improve the mood of any bar.
There’s an inherent sense of purpose that comes from Huston’s music, which can probably be explained by his experience playing drums. Although he’s been playing them much longer than guitar, he opted to not play them on the album because he just wanted to get the project finished. This steadfast resolve is an admirable trait, considering the temptation for a musician to lock themselves in studios in order to perfectly craft their opus. Indulgence and glamor aren’t Andrew’s style, he’s more concerned with keeping it “in the pocket”. In addition to guiding the recording process, the concept of not wasting time can also be heard all over the album.
Huston admits his own ignorance of the future, and questions what he’s doing on tracks like “Flying”, so it isn’t surprising that the record was largely inspired by Huston’s last years at West Chester University. Fortunately, Andrew covers the ambiguity of post-college life without the pretense of “The Graduate,” a track that also features the vocals of Tyler Asay, Andrew’s bandmate in The Tisburys. Early this year, the pair recorded an acoustic version of “Flying” for “The Music Mint.”
The title track of the album encapsulates the end of an era, and sees Huston overcoming the questions raised on the rest of the EP. It’s only fitting that Andrew would bid farewell to his college days with his trademark optimism. Musically, there’s a strong Motown vibe, enhanced by a tasteful bass line provided by Jon Covert, who also recorded the album.
In contrast to the alt-country sound that the record favors, it closes with the blues rock inspired “All Damn Night”. This song is extremely catchy, likely inspired by hijinks at “Jake’s,” and features a distorted sound that needs to be explored on a future recording.
Like any good EP, “Going Away” leaves you wanting more. Huston has been writing new material, but a start date for a follow-up album has yet to be announced.
If you’re interested in seeing Andrew perform live, he’ll be playing at The Dawson Street Pub in Manayunk on January 6. While you wait, listen to “Going Away” below.
How It Feels
Isn’t It Interesting
All Damn Night