The band is having a “Nerd Prom”-themed album release show on Friday, April 28, in Seattle. Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard will be there.
Talent surrounds Eric Anderson and his bouncy Seattle-based band, Cataldo, which is set to launch its latest pop album, “Keepers,” Friday, April 28, at the Century Ballroom. And for the release show, Anderson has employed many of his talented — and famous — friends to introduce the new record properly.
Case in point: set to spin between live sets are Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame DJ Marco Collins, among others. “Keepers,” pressed to vinyl with the help of ice-cream entrepreneur and Anderson’s daytime employer Molly Moon (who recently launched her vinyl-only label, Mooncrew Records), will be celebrated with a “Nerd Prom” theme and co-sponsorships from KEXP and Artist Home. The audience is encouraged to dress up.
“I was kicking around ideas for the release show at Molly Moon’s one day,” Anderson recalls, “and in walks Hallie [Kuperman], who runs Century Ballroom, with a bottle of rosé. I took that as a sign.” Anderson continued to ask around and he found more willing partners, including Gibbard, who is a featured vocalist on the song “Room Without A Flame.” “I’ve gotten to know Ben over the past couple of years. We started hanging out a bit and he’s been a huge champion and supporter of the band. Seeing him in my apartment singing a song I wrote was a total ‘pinch me’ moment.”
8:30 p.m. Friday, April 28, Century Ballroom, 915 E. Pine St., Seattle. Sold out.
While Cataldo’s last record, “Gilded Oldies,” walked a line between buoyant brightness mixed with a percussive heft, “Keepers” is rounder, springier. After initial work with Hey Marseilles’ Sam Anderson, the new music came out anthemic and poppy, Cataldo’s frontman explains. “For a while I was calling it a Greatest Hits album,” he jokes.
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But despite the new direction, Anderson is still steadfastly rooted in a Northwest family tree of groups like Harvey Danger, Death Cab, Built to Spill and the Long Winters — a style he lovingly refers to as “brainy feelings music.” Examples of this on “Keepers” include the synth-driven “Little Heartbeat” and guitar twangy “Between You And Me” — songs that feature Anderson’s sharp and bright vocals that, like Gibbard’s, mesh with music in complement, creating detailed tracks like visions of the night sky shot across with spaceships.
Throughout “Keepers,” though, are themes of love and heartache that no amount of joyous pop accompaniment can drown out. With the ballad “A Short Goodbye To No One In Particular,” Anderson offers a gentle reprieve from the party of the previous six tracks. On it he plays a reflective piano accompanied by deep strings while singing the refrain, “Let go, let go, let go.”
“I’ve been in a relationship for eight years,” Anderson explains. “I guess the love songs just showed up on this one. My partner and I moved in together and there’s a level of closeness that you get when you live together that you don’t when you don’t.”
And it’s close relationships that fuel and inform Anderson’s work. “When I was setting up this show,” he says, “I kept asking my friends for stuff and people kept agreeing to help. I feel very lucky.”