The Autumn Defense is John Stiratt and Pat Sansone, who spend the bulk of their time playing, respectively, bass and utility infielder (guitars, keys, percussion) in Wilco. Still, to call the group a side-project doesn't feel quite right -- they've been together since 2000 (well before Sansone was added to the Wilco line-up), they tour as regularly as their other band's schedule allows, and their new, self-titled record is their third full-length release.
While I prefer the more uptempo power-pop sound that characterized their 2001 debut, The Green Hour (a gem of a record, now sadly out of print), this album is another really nice collection of the sun-dappled acoustic pop that has characterized their sound ever since, rich with pretty melodies, lush harmonies and unwavering romanticism. Highlights include Sansone's "Where You Are," a ridiculously sexy number that recalls the 70s SoCal sound so much that you half expect Joni Mitchell or David Crosby to turn up singing harmony, and Stiratt's "We Would Never Die," which features an unmistakable solo from guitar virtuoso and Wilco bandmate Nels Cline. Just pretty, romantic tunes throughout. If you're looking to woo someone with music, this record could be a potent weapon in your arsenal (or provide a nice backdrop once you succeed).
MP3: The Autumn Defense - "Where You Are," from The Autumn Defense
MP3: The Autumn Defense - "We Would Never Die," from The Autumn Defense
Note to fellow ATLiens: The Autumn Defense plays The EARL on March 13. Tickets available here.