Joel Tannenbaum | photo by Isaac Turner

The Rentiers are the latest project from local singer-songwriter Joel Tannenbaum, whose musical resume includes cult favorites Plow United and Ex Friends. (He’s also penned pieces for The Key from time to time.) Shedding the power punk skin and pulling on the ultra-literate, lyrically-focused cap of an indie rock veteran, Tannenbaum’s collection of new songs are stripped- and slowed-down vignettes of people and moments.

The first offering, “Stories of Adam,” includes what could be taken as a thesis for the four-track EP.  After the acoustic strumming gives way to melodic rock layers, Tannenbaum sings “all these stories of people / people like me and you… tell me what are we gonna do with these stories of failure.” He draws universal truths out of ordinary, specific moments, like when he describes running in to an old friend, “Adam,” who asks him for money at the Huntington el stop, not even recognizing Tannenbaum as someone he used to know. “Stories of Adam” turns into “stories of people” and you’re reminded, as the listener, of a similar friend you lost track of along the way.

Listen to the song below and read a detailed interview with Tannenbaum about The Rentiers over on The Runout here. The Rentiers debut EP will be released soon on Square of Opposition Records.