Release Date: Oct 16, 2015
Record label: ADA
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Indie Pop, Neo-Psychedelia
Following his band's breakthrough 2014 LP, Atlas, Real Estate bassist Alex Bleeker revives his solo project Alex Bleeker & the Freaks with the earthy, warmhearted Country Agenda. On his third solo outing, Bleeker solidly finds his footing thanks, in large part, to a more full-time lineup of the Freaks as well as his most rewarding batch of songs yet. His two earlier efforts, the Freaks' self-titled 2009 debut and 2013's How Far Away, were largely made with a rotating cast captained by Bleeker's strong guidance, but for Country Agenda he installed himself within the newly minted band and built the arrangements up collaboratively.
Decamping with a new band of not especially freaky Freaks, Real Estate bassist Alex Bleeker has made an album of full-on jam band pastiche. This territory offers some positive associations (The Band, American Beauty) and plenty of unfortunate baggage (Phish-y workouts, Jimmy Buffett vibes, lyrics about "avocado eyes"). (www.facebook.com/AlexBleekerandTheFreaks) .
Real Estate bassist Alex Bleeker's solo project allows him to revel in his unabashed love for the Grateful Dead. The Freaks' third and most collaborative album finds Bleeker even sneaking in a cover of the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band's Turtle Dove. The tribute goes beyond that, however. Alt-folk is at the album's root, but like the Dead, Bleeker uses it to infuse an eclectic mix of sounds: Americana, electric instrumental interludes, bucolic soundscapes that conjure coastal California, where it was recorded.