By day John Stirratt and Patrick Sansone sell thousands of albums, tour the world with indie juggernaut Wilco and lend their writing, playing and producing abilities to dozens of high-profile recordings. But by night these renowned pros are able to sit down, relax and create something special that comes straight from the heart of why they pursued music as a career – and that’s the Autumn Defense. After releasing 2007’s The Autumn Defense on their own Broadmoor label, Stirratt and Sansone teamed up with North Carolina’s Yep Roc Records to release the full-length work, Once Around. For the past nine years, this pair of Southerners-turned-Chicagoans had quietly been nurturing the reverent, classic pop of the Autumn Defense. Though the outset of the band saw Stirratt handling the bulk of the songwriting while Sansone lent his talents to production, the duo has steadily evolved into a partnership in both respects. From 2000’s debut LP The Green Hour to the critically lauded, salt-of-the-earth folk rock of 2003’s Circles, the Autumn Defense developed its late afternoon kickback sound like a fine wine develops and deepens ‘ with time. Once Around is a formidable tapestry of thoughtful, intricate sunshine wrapped around a core of timeless, experienced songwriting. It’s the kind of record that needed to be made, for the audience but also for the artists.
Saturday, February 4, 2023