Local CD of the Week: The Sheds’ You’ve Got A Light

Cincinnati Indie Folk duo The Sheds have released other albums before their brand new You’ve Got a Light, but don’t look for them in your favorite CD store. The band simply put the releases (and this one) up on their Web site for free download. While that can be seen as smart promotional acumen, with The Sheds, it almost feels like an anti-materialistic statement against the music industry’s increasingly apparent greed. Still, if you simply download You’ve Got a Light without paying for it, you are most certainly getting way more than you paid for.

The Sheds — who have been earning a lot of praise from various music blogs — are singer/songwriters Paul Bunyan and Chris Haubner and their close camaraderie is apparent in their musical output. Speaking of friends, the twosome invited many of theirs to lend a hand on the new disc, adding to the communal, we’re-all-in-this-together spirit. There’s something loose and warm about this record, like it was recorded during a studio party. The Sheds are multidimensional, meaning you get a little acoustic modern Folk, a little quirky ElectroPop, some driving Indie Rock and, often, a mix of all three. All these elements combine on Light for something impossibly infectious.

Sample the track “Reflection of the Sun” from The Sheds’ You’ve Got A Light:

Bunyan and Haubner’s easy melodies are instantly memorable – listen to the churning opener “All the Right Things” once and it will be burned into your mind forever. “The World Is Changing” is a lilting acoustic ballad bolstered by spare electronic burbling, while the charmingly goofy “Trash Can Jeans” is all minimal, squiggly Electronica with some jive-talkin’ vocal muttering over top. Meanwhile, the riveting “We Are Walking Slowly” is all-organic, with just piano, acoustic guitar and light drums guiding the ship, and “Rootwings” is the most traditional “Rock” song on the disc, a lovely slice of yearning, earnest Indie Pop.

On the playful, irresistible “Reflection of the Sun,” the duo is joined by The Seedy Seeds, Uncle Smokin’ Joe and Matthew Shelton, who are each intro-ed by name before their singing parts (listen to the track above). “Mtn Cat” is another standout, with its stabbing string sounds, trickling banjo and endearing call-response chorus (“Kind but can I get another beer/There’s a cooler in the front and a cooler in the rear”).

While there are a lot of varying additives, The Sheds don’t pile on, instead using the different elements sparingly. And, despite the electro adornments, there is an effortless naturalness and modesty evident on every track, which makes Light on of the more engaging and endearing Cincinnati releases of the year so far.

The Sheds present a CD release party Saturday at the Southgate House with guests Arrah & the Ferns, J-Roddy Walston & the Business, Pomegranates and The Seedy Seeds.

(photo: myspace.com/theshedsmusic)

— Mike Breen

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3 Comments on “Local CD of the Week: The Sheds’ You’ve Got A Light”

  1. Joe Says:

    This new album is their most consistent and best work, the show saturday will be great, J Roddy and the Biz are also amazing live…..

  2. citybeat Says:

    Amen, Joe. I can’t stop listening to it! I haven’t seen J-Roddy yet, but I love their latest album, so I can’t wait for this one. And POMEGRANATES! Probably the best new band in the city. They are backing the Sheds up at the release show, but try to catch them on their own soon. Amazing live act. You can check out one of their songs (and upcoming gigs) here: http://www.myspace.com/pomegranatesart. We’ll have a story on the band in next week’s CityBeat.

    – breen

  3. Joe Says:

    thanks for the heads up, I will be sure to check them out


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