[Review] Of All These Things – Eric Anders and Mark O’Bitz

Following a biting and politically-charged release in 2017, Eric Anders exposes a softer side of American folk music. Alongside collaborator Mark O’Bitz, Of All These Things is Anders’ fully-formed concept of Americana, and one that ought not to go unnoticed. Given time to reflect and some time to cultivate graciousness, Anders and O’Bitz are the late summer antidote to the less thoughtful side of music.

With stunning tinges of country influences throughout a perfectly restrained encapsulation of American music, Anders and O’Bitz never find themselves reaching too far to hit a sound both familiar and welcoming. The track “Hold On To Me” reminds one of Iron and Wine and Calexico’s dual effort many moons ago – gorgeous vocals romantically intertwined with Southwest mysticism. In concert with O’Bitz, Of All These Things becomes true storytelling rather than simply a record, transcending the low morality of simply making music and ascending onto the plane of genuine troubadourism. The cut “I Used To Be Another” takes the age-old idea of an identity crisis, crafting something much more angelic and soothing for a universality of sorts on several fronts.

Whatever magic that Anders and O’Bitz have conjured in the studio, it’s working. It’s one thing to create a fine folk record. It’s another to come out of the gate as a duo with such chemistry and confidence to produce such a record. Of All These Things is not just good country-Americana-folk-whatever hyphen you want to assign. It is a prime example of some seriously advanced songwriting.

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