Sometimes the things that stick with us are not lightning quick and powerful, but slow wheeling, calculated and intricately placed. It may take a little longer to realize what’s in front of you, but with the right view, a slower and less predictable path reveals much more than you ever could have imagined.
Singer/songwriter Eric Anderson, the Idaho native who is the voice and mind behind Seattle-based band Cataldo, knows the potency of a slow building storm, and he knows exactly how to craft and release his own tempest — the most recent being his newest album ‘Literally Main Street,’ out Sept. 27. And, like a bird above the storm, he reflects on things with a particularly unique view, perched far above but still with plain sight of everything below.
It’s with that viewpoint that Anderson measures ever so carefully the quirky sentiments found in this album. He weighs out each note and pairs them with unorthodox lyrics that come together to tell a personal and honest story.
He speaks about people by names. He mentions streets you’ve likely never been down, and he chooses song titles such as “Ding Dong Scrambled Eggs.”
The album itself is literally called ‘Literally Main Street.’ It’s Anderson’s main street, his friends and loved ones, but the sentiments created can be found within any individual, sometimes in glimmers and other times in bounds.
“A little kiss on the mouth, a little thunder in the drought, feel you close to me. And I honestly can’t wait to tell you the weird things I’ve seen. Rachel, I know you think I’m a quitter, but I’m trying to be kind.”
Anderson has always been one for long winded lyrics chock full of idiosyncratic details. He loves to get one lost in his own cadence, revealing the places and the moments he’s held onto. But there is also a candor in his stories that reveal a universal humanism in the act of feeling — feeling love, feeling lost, feeling alive.
It’s not that Anderson thinks his views and experiences are unique. On the contrary, they’re run of the mill. But, he expands on these normalities with such insight, and he tells them not because they’re more important than anyone else’s experiences, but because they’re all one in the same.
“It’s just like Cheers but sad. I’m a great Diane, but where’s my Sam?,” he sings in “Ding Dong Scrambled Eggs,” as he realizes the bittersweetness caused by life’s predictability.
In the title track, he muses over the memory of a quiet and shy romance, the kind that seems flimsy at first, but rich with detail.
“Was the night air colder then? I would write you right now but I can’t hold a pen. it all just in my head? Am I still in your head?”
Anderson makes unlikely comparisons, and he dissects ideas and moments in ways you wouldn’t think to but in the plainest of ways. He sings about being blind drunk and “echolocating” through a busy place. He gets distracted by rich kids talking about real estate, and he finds both loneliness and kinship around him. When everything is laid out, you realize he’s done what every great novel does. That is, Anderson writes a song like a chapter in a book. He takes characters you do not know and expands on them to reveal a truth found within the reader, or in this case the listener.
“I just kept thinking of people I grew up with in Idaho,” he explains, “things that had happened to me, characters and situations from that era of my life. ‘What should happen next?’ was always answered by ‘well, what would they have done?’ if not ‘what did they actually do?’ I think I just now have the distance to write about that time with some wisdom and perspective.”
With four albums already under his belt, ‘Literally Main Street’ is more of an experiment of thought and production where Anderson sets loose sentiments to see what sticks and what doesn’t. If you’re truly paying attention, you’ll notice the delightful parallelity in all his little details.
Cataldo In Los Angeles + Tour Dates
Sept 25 / Spokane / The Bartlett
Sept 26 / Seattle / The Croc
Sept 27 / Ashland / Brickroom
Sept 28 / Davis / Sophia’s
Sept 30 / Los Angeles / The Moroccan Lounge
Oct 1 / San Francisco / Hotel Utah
Oct 2 / Portland / The Liquor Store
Oct 15 / Boston / Middle East
Oct 16 / Brooklyn / Baby’s All Right
Oct 17 / Washington DC / Songbyrd
Oct 18 / Philadelphia / Johnny Brendas