I think many Escape visitors will find Area Friends to be an excellent casual springtime weekend listen. A few catchy garage tracks, an ultra infectious driving dark wave number, some alt throwbacks reminiscent of the '70s indie/rock influenced '80s college radio fodder....and it's all just: good. Like every track holds you. LEONARD THE BAND, who probably deliver my least favorite track in "Observation Tower Headache," offer up some pure STEELY DAN-esque sounds that land somewhere in between yacht rock and '70s Mojave greats....and even though it's my "least favorite" track I totally love it. There's something (and something positive) to be said about a compilation filled with artists you've never heard, playing music that outside of your go-to comfort zone, that resonates this well. Featured acts include: KENTUCKY VULTURES, DEATH BRIGADE, HAPPY FOREVER, COCOONITUDE, JOAINE, QUAILBONES, SECULAR PETS, JACKSON PURCHASE and a few others from Ghost Orchard Records, who seem to have left us a few years ago based on (lack of) internet activity but have kindly left us with a soundtrack for a weekend. If not this weekend, then just stick it in your back pocket for another time, time to be spent with a few of beverages and the people of your choosing.