Album Reviews

Peter Oren – Anthropocene – Album Review

Peter Oren – Anthropocene – Album Review by Killian Laher

American artist Peter Oren releases his second album and the influence of Bill Callahan hangs heavily on it.  Maybe it’s the sparse instrumentation combined with Oren’s deep, rich voice, as he delivers spare, quiet songs such as Burden of Proof and Falling Water.  He sounds optimistic on the title track and the rocky Throw Down, transcending his influences on the former to deeply croon “how will we escape this hell” before strings swoop in towards the end of the track.  Chain of Command almost sounds like Bryter Layter-era Nick Drake, wide-eyed and plaintive, with a dash of Americana.

Instrumentation is kept interesting – Canary in a Mine features a slow, lazy steel guitar and brushed percussion while New Gardens is driven by countrified fiddle.  Penultimate track River and Stone sees Oren produce a sparse, brooding song that’s as craggy and barren as his weather-beaten voice, while closer Welcome/Goodbye might be the most stripped down arrangement on the whole album.

He can’t help evoking Bill Callahan though.  Although it’s not the most original sound, Peter Oren executes these songs really well.  If he finds more of his own voice, he could really fly.

Track List –

1. Burden of Proof
2. Anthropocene
3. Falling Water
4. Chain of Command
5. Throw Down
6. Canary in a Mine
7. New Gardens
8. Picture from Spain
9. River and Stone
10. Welcome/Goodbye




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