Day 153: S.f.M. – Andrew Cedermark’s “On Me”
by Tom Noonan
A Titus Andronicus vet, Andrew Cedermark has a knack for punchy songwriting but seems completely disinterested in letting his brand of scuzz indulge in the same kind of bulky narratives ex-collaborator Patrick Stickles is so fond of. His solo debut, Home Life, feels brilliantly trapped on a couch, the work of someone trying to explore the world by sitting in one spot. It has the aired out feel of some early Kurt Vile, but Cedermark is more present, more generous a narrator. He doesn’t throw you into his amplifier as much as make sure you know it’s there. When the album picks up, he slows down, pulling everything back down to his level. If nothing else, Home Life proves Cedermark is a master of aesthetic.
The album opens with a cover of a song that, up until I heard Home Life for the first time, I assumed to be retired, possibly dead. On it, Cedermark, against logic and, arguably, if it had failed, good taste, digs up the bones of Bill Withers’s “Lean on Me”, hollows them out, then plugs his guitar directly in. The result isn’t beautiful, but with his guitar filling in for the choir, Cedermark finds a new way to sing about loneliness.