Music Reviews


Return the Favor

General Assembly

Out of nowhere comes Cheka, bringing along an EP of lovingly crafted, melancholic indie pop – already a mature artist brimming with potential. Louis Epstein is his real name, and New Jersey his place of birth, but he could just as easily have come out of Omaha, as there is a strong kinship with the more psych-pop flavored artists that have branched out of that particular region over the past five years or so. Each of the disc’s four tracks has its own distinct quality, with Epstein demonstrating both an impressive songwriting range and a strong sense of identity that serves to tie his otherwise diverse tracks together.

“Where I’m Found” may be the most immediate of the lot, a dampened grandiose track of melancholy and collected charm. “Unforgivable” is a strummed and comforting track that reveals its gentle beauty over repeated spins, while “Watership Down” displays Epstein’s clear pop sensibilities. And “Always Tonight,” the EP’s final track, shows him stretching out a bit and demonstrating his songwriting prowess on an even less immediate level. His already established sound may draw attention away from his versatility, but this is a remarkable debut EP from a young man who definitely deserves a wider audience. The EP is printed in a limited run of 1,000 copies, so get yours now before you have to shell out twice the amount on Ebay.

General Assembly:

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