A Little Affair
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A Little Affair

Woodstown, New Jersey, United States | INDIE

Woodstown, New Jersey, United States | INDIE
Band Alternative Rock

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"A Little Affair Releases Self-Titled Debut"

A Little Affair, a talented trio consisting of Ben Hughes, Ryan Buzby, and Tom Cochran, released their self-titled debut album on February 7th. I had a fantastic experience listening to A Little Affair in its entirety! The band’s musical style is very soothing – regardless of the songs’ subject matter. I found myself frequently asking myself if I was a seriously disturbed individual for feeling eerily calm listening to most of A Little Affair’s tracks. I suppose great music does wonders for the soul, even when it doesn’t really make sense. Who knew you could be in a good mood listening to a song about a crazy chick burning down your house?

“What Are You So Afraid Of?” is one of my personal favorites from the album. The guitar riffs are powerful in their simplicity, the story that Hughes’ lyrics create is compelling (all of the lyrics on the album are credited to Hughes), and the vocals are solid.

“Surroundings” contain the lyrics “call me a friend, call me loyal,” which were hilariously misinterpreted by my fiance as “don’t call me Frank, call me Julio.” I still can’t figure out how he heard that phrase, or how he believed it even made sense. The guitar really shines here!

As an album that virtually anyone can pick up and enjoy, A Little Affair is well worth the purchase and was certainly an amazing listening experience. Great work, guys! - humanfankind.com


"What are you so afraid of?"

Acoustic guitar driven and emotive vocals propel the sound down a Folk-Rock, kind of Americana road. The tracks for all their instrumental glory and driving forward, tend to be mid-tempo or even mellow in a good way. Not sissy-pants odes for the Vampire Diaries with sculpted hair and white make-up, but the stuff of life and some heart-break. This album lands where most of us live; with equal parts hope, despair and some searching and reflection on what makes this whole show tick. Let’s just hope that the guys of “A Little Affair” come to my neck of the woods before too long. - heroes of indie music


"Heroes of Indie Music"

The music of ‘A Little Affair’ is called indie-rock, but it does tend more towards the rock-pop side of the equation from my perspective. Messrs. Hughes, Buzby and Cochran are talented men as you will discover by listening to their freely available EP at www.alittleaffairmusic.com. You must watch some of the videos and you will discover further their talent and influences on these cover tunes. This trio may be trying to find their way, employment wise, in this troubled and sad economy, but here is hoping that they keep crafting songs in their quest to understand what makes life tick and has true meaning and importance, after all. You got to see the Glen Hansard cover on the YouTube vid below. Awesome vocal and emotional intensity on this hard charging number. These guys have a gift that I’m just dying for them to set free more often at that level. The three offerings on Darling show that they have the musical ability and creativity to make thoughtful and engaging songs. - Ron Cuellar


"Coffee With Toast"

I usually do not like Indie Pop, but man these guys are different. A very smooth, very easy listening sound that puts me in a good mood. I really like what these guys stand for; the whole follow your dreams and nothing will get in your way kind of attitude. I have faith in this band and im excited to see what direction they take in the future. Of course they are unsigned just like all of the other talented musicians out there, but we'll see what happens in the future. Check them out and listen to them on their myspace page. - Sean Herman


"A Little Affair - Find Your Light"

7.5 out of 10
For as much flak as Saves the Day’s In Reverie received upon its arrival in 2003, the album still had its fervent proponents, albeit a small faction of the band’s existing fans. While many felt abandoned because of the album’s departure from the prototypical pop-punk that had defined the band’s sound up until that point, others hailed In Reverie as wildly inventive and ambitious. Five years later, Saves The Day has arguably reverted back to their old, beloved sound in an effort to satisfy those they lost following the failure of In Reverie, and perhaps to appease themselves. There still remains, however, that diminutive – but growing – group of devotees who swear by the album, and proclaim it as the band’s crowning achievement. Because of its polarizing nature, I always thought In Reverie would begin to seep through as an influence on like-minded bands as the years went on.

It’s taken longer than I expected, but I think that influence has finally begun to manifest itself. The same melancholy, sweet sound that graced In Reverie can be found all over Find Your Light, the ambitious but uneven debut album from A Little Affair.

It’s apparent in the vocals of Ben Hughes, whose tenor resembles Chris Conley’s in the era when he first began singing through his nose. It’s also evident in the style of Hughes’s songwriting; never content to stay with a standard chord progression for too long, his structure takes unexpectedly sophisticated turns.

On “Making Wishes”, which opens the album, a power-pop verse filled with distortion becomes a clean, moody chorus, complete with lilting falsetto. If nothing else, the choice to start off the album with a blasé ballad is surprising. Most bands need to come out of the gate furiously, and deliver immediate satisfaction; these guys are content with making you wait and work for it. It’s ballsy, but with their prowess, it’s a move that pays off. After demonstrating all that their sound encompasses in three and a half minutes, it’s time to backtrack. “Repetition” follows, and it’s an excellent, upbeat song that swiftly darts by, plainly accessible but undeniably smart. “Blurry” is in the same fashion. It’s an exercise in vocal restraint over an immediate background (bassist Tom Cochran and drummer Ryan Buzby are a more-than-adept rhythm section), and I only wish there more songs on the album in the same vein. That balance is hard to achieve, and when they’re on, they’re on.

But too often after "Blurry," the band never really takes off again. The second half of the album is filled with slower laments that begin to blend in with each other. The music is still smart and melodic, but it becomes harder to pay attention to the intricacies when the songs themselves don’t move forward. It’s hard to distinguish songs like “Radio Station Beliefs” and “Repression” from each other. Even though they are still expertly arranged, the music becomes monotonous, and you’re left wishing for it to pick back up soon.

The album’s biggest downfall, aside from it being top-heavy, is its production. It’s very, very raw and mixed so that the drums tend to be in the front and the vocals are muddy in the back. It can be distracting, and you’re left imagining what it may have sounded like had it been professionally recorded. Still, I can’t even begin to discredit the band, who produced the album entirely themselves. They’ve painstakingly crafted a debut album without the help of anyone, and even if they’re not particularly skilled at production, their songwriting more than makes up for it.

For a debut album, Find Your Light is undeniably promising, if not ultimately impressive. The band is well intentioned with a definite drive (see the documentary on the making of the album on the band’s MySpace page for the full grasp), and it’s hard to pigeonhole them into any particular “scene” because of the left-turns they make, and the overall maturity of their music. Like In Reverie, the album may turn out to be overlooked and under-appreciated, but by no means should it be.

Vocals 7
Musicianship 8.25
Lyrics 7.75
Production 6.75
Creativity 8.5
Lasting Value 7.25
Reviewer Tilt 7
Final Verdict: 75%
- Absolute Punk.net


Discography

A Little Affair - A Little Affair (02.07.2012)
-stream here: http://www.alittleaffairmusic.com/music

Darling [EP] - A Little Affair (10.18.2010)
-stream here: http://www.alittleaffairmusic.com/music

Photos

Bio

Having recently graduated, Ben Hughes, Ryan Buzby, and Tom Cochran found themselves transplanted into an economic depression and a sour job market. Determined not to let a few bad bankers give them the blues, the trio chose to chase their rock n’ roll dreams. Hughes articulates his desires and frustrations with society, relationships, and religion through song. Together, Hughes and Cochran join Buzby in his farmhouse studio to complete their newest self-titled album showcasing their simply accessible indie rock.