Thomas Trimble-vocals, guitars
David Feeny-pedal steel, guitars, keyboards, vocals
Garth Girard-bass, vocals
Exposure is the fifth studio album by Detroit-based band American Mars. Produced by band member David Feeny at The Tempermill in Ferndale, Michigan, the album features eleven original songs and is the band’s first release since 2012’s Chasing Vapor.
Exposure is a compelling aggregation of rock bluster and folky melancholy. From of the pop-inflected swoon of the opener, “Delilah,” to the melodic crash of “Give Me a Sign,” and the arty swagger of “Watches and Warnings,” the album is a roller coaster of elation, insomnia, and desire. In addition to Trimble, Feeny, and Girard, Exposure features drummers Brian Ferriby and Woody Saunders and a guest appearance by violinist Bridget Regan from the band Flogging Molly.
Says guitarist and producer David Feeny: “”Writing and recording this record was a unique collaborative experience. Some songs were penned by Thomas and arranged organically in rehearsal but then life got in the way! We countered by exploring some alternate methods on a number of these songs. I had templated some demo versions of ideas and threw them at Thomas, who wrote lyrics from his own unique perspective.”
The band’s 2008 release, Western Sides, received enthusiastic reviews from Harp and American Songwriter, while the music on the group’s 2003 release, No City Fun, received glowing comparisons to such diverse artists as Tom Petty, Joe Henry, the Dream Syndicate, and Blue Nile. The band’s lyrical and emotive live shows have earned them supporting slots with The National, The Avett Brothers, Elbow, and Richard Buckner.
Late (1997), No City Fun (2003), Western Sides (2008), Chasing Vapor (2012), Exposure (2016)
“There are, in fact, twin guitars in American Mars, but not the kind you’d expect from a Motor City act. Instead, guitarist/vox Thomas Trimble muses darkly over cold hearts and a cold heartland while producer/pedal steel player David Feeny adds twinkling touches. “-The Austin Chronicle
“…atmospheric heartland roots rock that romps like Ryan Adams and ruminates like Joe Henry.” – Harp Magazine
“…Western Sides doesn’t aim to sound downbeat so much as honest about the long odds of life and love in the industrial Midwest, and the songs are built around hooks that manage the neat trick of creating a world of heartache that you can whistle along with in the car.” – All Music
“Western Sides is an explosion of a different kind of pent-up experience – that is, the everyday kind made up of the growth, death, boredom, discovery and everything else that falls between those low-key ecstasies and decay that make up an ordinary life.” – Detroit Metro Times
“A dynamic and studied work from Detroit-based American Mars with first rate songs from the band and exceptional production” – Freight Train Boogie
“American Mars, during the years between recordings, has become a leaner, more confusing, and profound rock & roll band by aiming for the lyrical places where only ghosts dare to whisper and the musical spaces where past, present, and future bleed into one another as the timelessness of one endless twilight sky.”-Thom Jurek, All Music Guide
“American Mars’ No City Fun is a pedal steel-laden, song-driven disc rich with gentle sadness, melodic acumen and knotty wordplay whose reference points fall somewhere between Yo La Tengo, Calexico and the Flying Burrito Brothers. In a just world, American Mars would be huge.-Brian Smith, Detroit Metro Times
“Living on the hard edge of Americana, drawing well-crafted emotional vignettes in chiaroscuro, looking at familiar things through the eyes of a stranger.”-Karen Koski, Billboard
“A sense of haunting floats throughout No City Fun, the second album for the revered Detroit ensemble. It’s a sort of unearthly heartland rock…just in time to call it one of the best albums of 2001.”-Brian McCollum, Detroit Free Press