Seth Pettersen

Natural Machine

Whether he’s working the solo angle or fronting the long running Franklin for Short, Seth Pettersen has a knack for making songs that sound quintessentially Californian. On Natural Machine, Pettersen’s tinny tenor plays off an eclectic collection of compositions that range from soft campfire folk (“Golden Cage”) to AM radio retro (“Anywhere with You”) to surf rock psychedelia (“On the Island”). But rather than sound like an exercise in throwback pandering, Natural Machine plays out rather, well, naturally. Opening track “Breaking Points” builds up Pettersen’s thin voice with warm washes of reverb and a steadily driving mix of tambourine and drums. Later, “Get Rad” pulls from the Wavves school of thought with plenty of fuzzy guitars and over-the-top echo effects. By the time album closer “Mountain of Dreams” kicks in, it feels like the tail end of a long coastal drive — windows rolled down and radio cranked to 11, of course.

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