Friday, January 27, 2017

Premiere: Debut EP from Avery Mandeville

Cover photo and design: Eric Foster


Avery Mandeville is one of the hardest-working people in the Central Jersey music scene. Whether she's playing shows at The Chubby Pickle in Highlands or helping to run open mic nights at The Inkwell in Long Branch or lending backing vocals to Foes of Fern or Taylor Tote, Mandeville is a major contributor to what has become one of the country's most vital and vibrant music scenes. She also happens to be one of the funniest and most quick-witted people I've ever had the pleasure to meet.

Avery Mandeville's debut EP, Salty, brings five years' worth of songwriting, hard work, and dues-paying together with a biting sense of humor. It premieres right here, right now; and it's available for immediate purchase at Avery Mandeville's Bandcamp page.

I'm not sure if this is intentional, but Salty has an arc. Over the course of its five songs, it moves from the self examination of the mostly acoustic "Intro (My Lover)" and "Say Avery" through to literal and figurative centerpiece, "Quarter to Four," to the self-assured rock of "No More Dick Pix" and "Johnny (With the Blue Shirt)." Mandeville goes from lamenting that, "I can't keep going on like this" on (the amazing) "Quarter to Four" to declaring, "I'm unsure of many things, but I know I'll do whatever I want" in the space of a single song on "No More Dick Pix."

Throughout, Mandeville's vocals can be both smoky and sardonic. The production of Joseph Pomarico and (on "Johnny") Matt Dubrow gives things intimacy or heft at just the right times. Mandeville is backed by The Man Devils of Matt Fernicola (bass, electric guitar, and credited with all arrangements), Owen Flanagan (drums), and Branden Steinagle (synths); and, on those tracks when the full band let loose, I found myself thinking of the post-Neptune City work of Nicole Atkins.

Stream Salty in its entirety below.

Avery Mandeville and The Man Devils will be celebrating the EP's release with a show at The Saint on Friday, February 3rd, with The Lords of Liechtenstein and The Mercury Brothers. You'll be able to purchase physical copies of the CD at the show along with, I think maybe, some "Dick" (guitar) picks.

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