John Andrews and the Yawns Revere Nature And 60’s Folk-Pop On ‘Bad Posture’ (ALBUM REVIEW)


Music lovers are likely more familiar with John Andrews’ backing work on drums and keys in the rhythm section of bands like Woods or Widowspeak than they are with his solo recordings under the title John Andrews and the Yawns. That may soon change, however, as the multi-instrumentalist has proven himself a more than capable songwriter and bandleader in his own right with his sophomore effort Bad Posture. The album delivers a potent psychedelic concoction of nine 1960’s folk-pop inspired tunes that harken back to the early days of flower power and the jangly Americana rock n’ roll of bands like Buffalo Springfield and The Byrds.

In true hippy fashion John Andrews, a native New Jerseyian, retreated to the quiet seclusion of rural New England to write, record, and mix Bad Posture. There, among the tree-covered hillsides of Barrington, NH, Andrews and his newly enlisted trio of backing musicians openly welcomed the natural beauty and isolated remoteness of the New England backwoods into their psyche and spirit, allowing it to serve as a the primary inspiration throughout the creative process in a manner not dissimilar to that of nineteenth century American transcendentalist writers. And, as with the poetry of Ralph Waldo Emerson or Walt Whitman, a childlike sense of wonderment and almost instinctual reverence for all things earthly developed at the heart of the album and pervades throughout the entire recording in many forms.

Bad Posture was recorded “in a barn” on modest equipment and mixed outdoors providing the final product with a naturally homey and intimate feel that would have been nearly impossible to create inside a professional recording studio, while also strongly contributing to the record’s sense of atmosphere and setting. Much in the same way one can envision Bob Dylan and The Band sweating it out in a cramped, smoke-filled cellar when listening to the rough recordings on The Basement Tapes, it is not difficult to imagine Josh Andrews and his bandmates euphorically jamming out in a dusty old barn deep in the New Hampshire woods.

Standout songs include the opening track “Drivers”, which sounds a bit like post-Beatles George Harrison with sweet and tender guitar phrasing and vocals; “Painting A Picture”, a catchy organ and keyboard driven cut with a solid R&B style groove; and “Relax”, which features a blend of barroom saloon style acoustic piano with various keyboard effects and spacey swelling vocal harmonies, creating a whimsical and timeless feel while making it quite possibly the strongest cut from this exceptional album.

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