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ALBUM REVIEW: The American Union– Songs From Upstairs
By Anastasia K - 03/09/2016 - 08:05 AM EST

Artist: Band: American Union, The
Album: Songs From Upstairs
Label: Independent
Genre: Country/Folk
Technical Grade: 7/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 7/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: You Take My Fear
Weakness: Vocals are a bit too low
CD Review: You’re walking in a ghost town, you hear faint music in the distance, and look over to see where it’s coming from. There’s a couple of guys sitting on a veranda, with a guitar and a banjo, playing tunes on a lazy Sunday afternoon. That is The American Union. Oh, and you stay for the show, of course!

The American Union is Stephen Burba and Daniel Stone, from Bowling Green, Kentucky. They met during college, and found their inspiration together to produce “Songs From Upstairs”, their demo CD.

There is a very raw sound to this whole album. It is only six songs long, but it _is_ a demo, after all, and a great way to introduce us to their Americana sound. Their songs are straightforward, keeping in time with the overall rawness. And there is such beauty in the simplicity.

The vocals. Ah, the vocals. My only issue with this CD is that the vocals are a bit too low compared to the rest of the instruments. To be fair, I listened to a streaming digital copy. But putting that aside, I hear shades of Eddie Vedder. And John Mellencamp, from time to time.

The overall demo feel of this CD seems like you are in the same room with the band for an intimate performance. It will be a short one though, but enough to introduce you to the band. In a little over 30 minutes of the CD running time, they go from quiet in “When We Were Young”, to picking up the beat a bit in “Windows”, to the staccato finale “You Take My Fear”, which instantly became my favourite song here.

The songs on this CD are about the everyday simplicities of life, and looking back at the people we were and who we came to be. It all ties together to the modest sound of The American Union. “Songs From Upstairs” is a demo of some of life’s experiences, so sit back and enjoy the ride.

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