Album Review: “Felt” by Anchor & Braille

August 10th, 2009

Felt

Anchor & Braille’s Felt is a beautiful musical landscape of soaring vocals backed by luscious orchestration. One-man-band Stephen Christian, frontman of the much heavier Anberlin, puts his trademark falsetto over this backdrop of pianos and string instruments to create an album that’s totally different from what fans would expect, but all the while good. The disc’s lyrical nature is also a departure from Christian’s Anberlin work as it’s much more personal in nature, exploring heartache and regret—themes too intimate and too painful (according to Christian) for such a platform. The album’s first single, “Like Steps in a Dance,” is one of its best songs, with a subtle drumbeat in the background simply accompanying Christian’s voice. Other songs on the album, such as “Sing Out,” share similar dynamics but with the addition of an acoustic guitar. Produced, engineered and mixed by Copeland singer Aaron Marsh, Felt is a wonderfully stripped-down album with just the right amount of production work attached, and it’s a really good first shot at trying something different by Stephen Christian. —Kirsten Housel

(Stephen Christian, as Anchor & Braille, plays Mercury Lounge on Wednesday.)