Locals Only: Broken Anchor’s ‘Fresh Lemonade’ is Very Sweet

By Zachariah Weaver

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Posted September 30, 2013 in Music
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Uplifting and played sort of like a giant orchestra, the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter known as Broken Anchor released his latest album, Fresh Lemonade last week Sept. 17. And besides all the other great things that can be said about it, the most thirst quenching description I could find was in its own name, “fresh.”

Most of the album has this mix between Matchbox 20 pop and a surf-rock throw back to The Beachboys. But don’t let those comparisons blind you. Track four—“Dear Diary” settles down into a moody, fall type of sound as vocalist Austin Hartley-Leonard’s whispering melodies sooth in-and-out of an acoustic guitar and the chamber-like backing vocals.

Played one after the other, the songs’ beats and grooves sort of move like the waves on a beach. For example, track five—“Matador” has a little hint of the sounds heard in “Dear Diary” right before, but it brings back the strong surf-rock feel it started out strong with in the beginning of the album.

“Always,” the first track is actually where most of the uplifting and orchestra-like song writing is found. It has a sort of Dashboard Confessional theme running throughout the entire track, minus the very high pitch Chris Carrabba, of course. But it has the poppy ballad type of sound that still makes you move and bob your head, instead of just listening to the lyrics, like you do with typical ballads.

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Adding to Hartley-Leonard’s strong song writing, Broken Anchor’s Bandcamp gives production credit to Brad Gordon, an independent composer and producer from Los Angeles, CA who composed, along with Jason Kanakis, the theme song and all the music to the first season of the new IFC animated series Out There. Adding on Gordon to this release was a good idea if this is what came out of it. I’m sure we’ll here more things to come from Gordon as well as Broken Anchor.

Other instruments on the record are played by Mike Duffy (drums), Jonny Flaugher (bass track four), Quinn (drums), and more all on different songs.

Finishing up the album, track nine—“Leave The Light On” is one of the most perfect songs I’ve heard to wrap up an album like this; it sort of rides along as if it were a western, folk anthem. The backing vocals sound like the high-pitch, slow whales of a guitar way off in the background and they just weep and swell as the drums and vocals march along right in front. It’s a perfect mix and a great tune to put towards the end.

Look out for Broken Anchor as they are most positively planning to play a ton of shows after this release. And be sure to head over to their Bandcamp and download Fresh Lemonade.


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