FRACTURED AIR

The universe is making music all the time

Posts Tagged ‘Heather Woods Broderick

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S02E05 | May mix

leave a comment »

fracturedair_may17

May’s mixtape features selections from a pair of the year’s most essential compilations: Alice Coltrane’s “Turiyasangitananda” (Luaka Bop) and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ retrospective set “Lovely Creatures” (Mute).

“Lovely Creatures: The Best of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds 1984-2014” comprises a gorgeous meticulously assembled archive – spanning music, previously unseen photographs, memorabilia and extensive archival footage – of Cave’s first three decades as frontman to the world’s most revered and significant bands: The Bad Seeds. “Lovely Creatures” is compiled by Cave and founding Bad Seeds member Mick Harvey, with additional help from the current Bad Seeds. On the announcement of its release, Cave issued the following statement via his website:

“There are some people out there who just don’t know where to start with The Bad Seeds. Others know the catalogue better than I do! This release is designed to be a way into three decades of music making. That’s a lot of songs. The songs we have chosen are the ones that have stuck around, for whatever reason. Some songs are those that demand to be played live. Others are lesser songs that are personal favourites of ours. Others are just too big and have too much history to leave out. And there are those that didn’t make it, poor things. They are the ones you must discover by yourselves.”

“World Spirituality Classics 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda” is the spellbinding compilation of music made by the legendary composer, pianist and spiritualist Alice Coltrane with members of Sai Anantam Ashram in California during the eighties ad nineties. Much of the music here is culled from self-released tape cassettes released from the period. As Luaka Bop have said, the music from “Turiyasangitananda” is “inspired by the gospel music of the Detroit churches she grew up in, mixed together with the Indian devotional music of her religious practice, and even finds Alice singing for the first time in her recorded catalog. Originally only made available through her ashram, they are her most obscure body of work and possibly the greatest reflection of her soul.”

May’s mixtape also features new releases from: A Hawk And A Hacksaw’s Heather Trost who releases her sublime solo debut “Agistri” on June 2nd via LM Duplication; Animal Collective’s “The Painters” EP (Domino); Stockholm-based electronic duo Roll The Dice’s “Born To Ruin” (The New Black); “Wade In” by Julianna Barwick (part of the extensive “Our First 100 Days” benefit compilation); Wolfgang Voigt releases “Narkopop” via Kompakt, his latest ambient opus under his GAS guise and first for twenty years; Heather Woods Broderick’s gorgeous new 7″ single “Home Winds” (recorded in response to the photographs of Benjamin Swett and published as a collaborative project between both artists by Planthouse Inc).

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S02E05 | May mix

 

To listen on La Blogothèque:

http://www.blogotheque.net/2017/05/31/fractured-air-x-blogotheque-s02e05-may-mix/

 

01. Steve Reich“Come Out” (excerpt) (Nonesuch)
02. Daniel Brandt“Eternal Something” (Erased Tapes)
03. Forest Swords“Panic” (Ninja Tune)
04. Roll The Dice“Cannonball” (The New Black)
05. Everything Is Recorded“Washed Up on the Shore” (feat. Obongjayar and Warren Ellis) (XL Recordings)
06. Dirty Three “Furnace Skies” (Bella Union, Anchor & Hope)
07. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds “Tupelo” (Mute, BMG)
08. Tom Armstrong“Thunder Clouds” (Tompkins Square)
09. Slowdive“Sugar for the Pill” (Dead Oceans)
10. GAS“Narkopop 5” (Kompakt)
11. Biosphere“Black Mesa” (Biophon)
12. Mount Kimbie“Marilyn” (feat. Micachu) (Warp)
13. Mamman Sani“Samari Da Yan Matan” (Sahel Sounds)
14. Umoja“707” (Awesome Tapes From Africa)
15. Molly Nilsson“About Somebody” (Dark Skies Association / Night School)
16. Heather Trost“Agina” (LM Duplication)
17. Lukács István & Burka Sándor“Szállj Le Hattyú” (Hungaroton)
18. Carla dal Forno“Fast Moving Cars” (Blackest Ever Black)
19. Laurel Halo“Jelly” (Hyperdub)
20. Jlin“Black Origami” (Planet Mu)
21. Alice Coltrane “Om Rama” (Luaka Bop)
22. Shabazz Palaces“Shine a Light” (feat. Thaddillac) (Sub Pop)
23. Bobe Gáspár Ernő és Zenekara“Becskereki Pipagyújtó” (Hungaroton)
24. Animal Collective“Man of Oil” (Domino)
25. Julianna Barwick“Wade In” (Our First 100 Days, Bandcamp)
26. Heather Woods Broderick“Home Winds” (Planthouse Inc, Yebo Music)
27. Saltland “Forward Eyes II” (Constellation)

Compiled by Fractured Air, May 2017. The copyright in these recordings is the property of the individual artists and/or record labels. If you like the music, please support the artist by buying their records.

http://www.blogotheque.net/
https://fracturedair.com/

 

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S01E11 | November mix

leave a comment »

fracturedair_nov16

November’s mixtape contains gorgeous new releases from a host of exceptional voices in today’s independent music world: the peerless L.A. composer and songwriter Julia Holter unveils her debut score (‘Bleed For This’, Milan Records); Australia-born & Berlin-based artist Carla dal Forno whose exceptional avant-pop debut full-length ‘You Know What It’s Like’ marks one of 2016’s finest LPs (Blackest Ever Black); the utterly compelling collaborative project between Mica Levi and Oliver Coates (in the form of ‘Remain Calm’, released recently via Slip) and A Winged Victory For The Sullen’s stunningly beautiful ‘Iris’ original score, which represents the prestigious duo’s third full length release (available digitally now).

Earlier this month marked the sad passing of Leonard Cohen at the age of 82. A true visionary and legendary songwriter, his last studio album ‘You Want It Darker’ was released just weeks before his untimely passing. Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau’s emotional tribute to his good friend echoes powerfully the vital importance of Cohen’s sacred songbook: “Leonard, no other artist’s poetry and music felt or sounded quite like yours. We’ll miss you.”

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S01E11 | November mix

To Read/listen on La Blogothèque:

http://www.blogotheque.net/2016/11/24/fractured-air-x-blogotheque-s01e11-november-mix/

 

Tracklisting:

01. DJ Shadow“The Mountain Will Fall” (Mass Appeal)
02. A Tribe Called Quest“The Space Program” (Epic)
03. Archangel“Julia” (Dean Blunt’s On Wine, Hashish & Molly Version Vinyl Edit) (Foom)
04. Underworld“Low Burn” (Universal Music Group)
05. Dead Light“Sleeper” (Village Green)
06. Carla dal Forno“Db Rip” (Blackest Ever Black)
07. Karen Marks“Cold Café” (Efficient Space)
08. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith“Riparian” (Western Vinyl)
09. Mica Levi & Oliver Coates“Barok Main” (Slip)
10. Dungen“Peri Banu Vid Sjön” (Smalltown Supersound)
11. case/lang/veirs“Supermoon” (Anti-)
12. Tortoise (ft. Georgia Hubley)“Yonder Blue” (Thrill Jockey)
13. Fleetwood Mac“Albatross” (Reprise)
14. Lambchop “Writer” (Merge, City Slang)
15. Matt Robertson“Juno” (Tape Club)
16. Julia Holter“Home Movies” (Bleed For This OST, Milan)
17. Heather Woods Broderick“Glider” (Western Vinyl)
18. Loscil“Drained Lake” (Kranky)
19. A Winged Victory For The Sullen“Comme on a Dit” (Iris OST, Erased Tapes)
20. Leonard Cohen“String Reprise / Treaty” (Columbia, Sony Music)
21. Syrinx“December Angel” (excerpt) (RVNG Intl)

Compiled by Fractured Air, November 2016. The copyright in these recordings is the property of the individual artists and/or record labels. If you like the music, please support the artist by buying their records.

http://www.blogotheque.net/
https://fracturedair.com/

 

Step Right Up: Heather Woods Broderick

leave a comment »

Interview with Heather Woods Broderick.

“Many times I see things, whether it’s a passing scene out of a window, or a combination of colours on a wall, that conjure up memories for me. So sometimes I use these images to help depict or frame a feeling.”

— Heather Woods Broderick

Words: Mark Carry

tumblr_inline_nn7tsnbr781sr0unf_500

Glider’ is the highly anticipated sophomore full-length –and follow-up to the formidable 2009 solo debut ‘From The Ground’ – from gifted multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter, Heather Woods Broderick. The Brooklyn-based and Portland-raised musician has long been synonymous with some of the most breath-taking musical explorations of recent times, having closely collaborated with Portand’s Horse Feathers, Danish group Efterklang and is currently an integral member in U.S singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten’s band.

The nine immaculate sonic creations captured on ‘Glider’ unfolds a fragile beauty and striking emotional depth that inhabits an ethereal dimension from the opening dream-like atmosphere of ‘Up In The Pine’ to the closing country gem ‘All For A Love’. ‘Glider’s bewitching sonic canvas possesses a transient quality with each song cycle capturing a myriad of fleeting moments. The gorgeous vocal harmonies, pristine production and rich instrumentation serves the fitting backdrop for Broderick’s deeply affecting songs to flourish. For example, ‘Mama Shelter’ evolves into an infectious dub-infused groove which is masterfully inter-woven with Broderick’s richly soulful vocal delivery. The piano-based ballads of ‘Fall Hard’ (which could be taken from Marissa Nadler’s latest record ‘July’), ‘The Sentiments’ and the album’s title-rack ‘Glider’ serve the album’s most poignant and soul-stirring moments as the rich tapestry of vocal harmonies and piano notes drift majestically in the ether.

A Call For Distance’ epitomises the evocative production masterfully dotted across ‘Glider’ as timeless dreamwave sounds of This Mortal Coil and Cocteau Twins comes to the fore. The joyous sounds of ‘All For A Love’ with its jazz leanings (thanks in part to David Allred’s trumpet part) contains gorgeous clean guitar tones, upbeat harmonies and warm percussion akin to a marvelous sunset on a summer’s night. “There is a lot to live for” is a lyric that resonates powerfully and marks the album’s over-arching theme of perseverance through life’s difficulties and therein the strength to find one’s inner voice.

‘Glider’ is available now on Western Vinyl.

http://heatherwoodsbroderick.com/
http://westernvinyl.com/

Interview with Heather Woods Broderick.

Congratulations on your sublime new record ‘Glider’. The album is nothing short of staggering where the nine sonic creations unfold a fragile beauty and striking emotional depth that leaves the listener utterly dumbfounded. Rather than a record being a snapshot in a moment of time, ‘Glider’ possesses a transient quality with each song cycle capturing a myriad of fleeting moments culled from a long period of time. Can you please talk me through the songs of ‘Glider’ and discuss the themes to ‘Glider’ and your aims from the outset?

Heather Woods Broderick: Thank you very much; I’m really happy to hear you’re enjoying the record. Most of the songs on ‘Glider’ are reflections of experiences I’ve had, or close friends or family have had. The songs were written over about a two-year period, but reference events spanning a substantial period of time in my life. The title track is the only song I wrote prior to moving to Brooklyn in the fall of 2011. Many years had passed since I released ‘From the Ground’ when I really began writing the material for ‘Glider’. I think I’d grown as a musician after playing with so many different projects, and also as a person after so much travel around the world. ‘From the Ground’ was my first attempt to write any songs with words, so there were a lot of things I wanted to do differently when writing ‘Glider’. I like to create an atmospheric landscape for songs to live in. For ‘Glider’, I still wanted this to play an important role in the sound of the record, but I spent more time fully forming songs and writing lyrics. I think all of the songs on the record are pretty self-explanatory in a lyrical sense since they are all based on real events and emotions, but I do like to utilize a bit of metaphor in songwriting to help paint a picture an allow for more imagination. Many times I see things, whether it’s a passing scene out of a window, or a combination of colours on a wall, that conjure up memories for me. So sometimes I use these images to help depict or frame a feeling.

The range of sounds masterfully sculpted across the record is something that sets ‘Glider’ apart from your formidable debut full-length ‘From The Ground’ where this time around all songs are vocal-based, reflecting a song-writing masterclass in full bloom. Please take me back to the recording sessions and the wonderful cast of musicians you were joined by, not least your brother Peter and the wonderful David Allred among several others.

HWB: Every song on the record started out as a poorly self-recorded demo. I knew that I wanted to go into the studio having all of the material prepared, so I spent a lot of time with the demos – working with the structure and arrangements of the songs. I had all the vocal ideas worked out on demos, and knew the guitar sounds I wanted to go for, etc. When it finally came time to go into the studio I asked a few friends to be a part of the process. I spent five days at Type Foundry studio, working with engineer Adam Selzer, in Portland, OR where I recorded all of my basic tracks and vocals, and also tracked 2 of the songs (Wyoming + All for a Love) live as a three-piece. During these sessions Dave Depper played bass, Peter Broderick played Drums, Birger Olsen came in to lay down the guitar solo on ‘All for a Love’, and Eric Early played some hammond on ‘Desert’. All phenomenal musicians; I was lucky to have them join me on the songs. After the five days at Type Foundry, Peter and I took all those tracks out to a home studio he has on the Oregon Coast called The Sparkle. We spent a couple of weeks out there doing the rest of the overdubs. David Allred also came out and added some upright bass and trumpet during this time. We worked with the songs a lot during this phase, filling out the arrangements more, doing all of the post production, and then mixing the record here as well.

Aesthetically, ‘Glider’ is such a triumph and revelation. The piano-based ballads such as the heartwrenching title-track, ‘Fall Hard’ and ‘The Sentiments’ are beautifully inter-woven with ethereal dreamwave creations like ‘A Call For Distance’ and stunning folk gems like ‘Desert’ and ‘All For A Love’. I wonder was it ever difficult to decide on a certain style or version of a particular song, Heather? Did any of these songs undergo a dramatic transformation (or mutation!) from your original sketch of a song to its final recorded entity? For example, I can imagine a song such as ‘A Call For Distance’ is such a thrill to perform and record with your band?

HWB: I find it almost impossible to go back and drastically change the structure or lyrics of a song once I’ve written it. So for the most part, the songs are really similar to the demos. I wasn’t really going for any particular style or anything when I was writing. ‘A Call for Distance’ was sort of my labour of love on the record. I used a lot of delays through the process of writing these songs, and I think this one in particular was really inspired by what I was hearing as I went. I had an electric guitar with a delay pedal, a vocal mic, and a basic logic setup, so I could play and listen back while writing. I wouldn’t even know how to replicate some of the sounds from the demos on this song, so we ended up flying in some of the demo tracks. I have yet to perform this one live with a band, but I really look forward to doing that, and figuring out some version of it that works in a band setting. Some fun developments did happen during the recording process though. For example, Dave Depper’s bass playing on ‘Mama Shelter’ ended up being a huge influence to the path of that song took. He came up with this dub/reggae bass part in the chorus’ that we loved, so we sort of played on that theme while adding the other instrumentation. It fit in really well with the chorus echo and space echo machines that we were using with all the other tracks as well.

tumblr_inline_nn7tu2untk1sr0unf_500

 

The art of collaboration has been a trusted constant in your musical path, from Horse Feathers to Efterklang and Sharon Van Etten. I would love for you to share your feelings on music as being the great collaborative art. I can imagine the sum of these experiences and journeys with all these special souls makes for such an inspiring and rewarding journey. What are the memories you most cherish from these particular collaborations?

HWB: I have been very lucky to play with so many talented musicians, and collaborating with other artists is something that I’ll always have an interest in doing, musically and beyond. I love learning other peoples’ songs as well as writing parts to accompany others’ music. I find a lot of pleasure in practice and repetition. It’s a very different experience playing with different people. Everyone approaches music in their own way, and I find that really interesting. I go through phases of wanting to work on music that’s much more structured or technical, and wanting to throw out all the rules and just play loud rock music. It’s all rewarding in different ways. I loved being able to play cello in Horse Feathers – something I haven’t done with any of the other bands I’ve played in since, at least in a live setting. I have particularly fond memories of traveling with Efterklang to places I’d never been, and haven’t been since. They were really special people to make music with. I was late in the game in hearing Sharon’s music, but I’m so glad I did. I still remember the first time we sat in my living room and sang together – a moment I’ll never forget.

Coming from a musical family – both your parents are musicians and you began piano lessons at the young age of eight – music has always been in your life. I would love if you could reflect on pivotal moments that occurred during your musical upbringing that you feel helped you in a significant way? I can only imagine you and your brother at home must have been playing music together, almost on a constant basis?

HWB: There was definitely a lot of music going on in my house growing up. My parents both played guitar and always spun records after dinner. My older brother Noah played saxophone and also electric in a grunge rock band. I took piano lessons for years, and then quit for about a year when I was 15 or 16. Probably typical of that age and not wanting to be told what to do. I came back around to it though. I found some classical pieces that I really fell in love with and contemporary bands that I heard classical crossover with (everything from Rachels to various math rock bands), and it made me excited to keep practicing, and to be able to apply what I’d learned to making music with people. My brother Peter started taking suzuki violin lessons when he was really young, but we never really played together until I was 18 or 19. We started playing in a band together then, and also went to the same school for a brief period and would write and perform pieces together for composition classes and recitals. My parents were always really supportive of whatever I wanted to do with music, and I’m sure their support encouraged me to go down my own musical path.

The tender lament ‘Desert’ is one of the album’s (many) defining moments. I love this sense of a travelogue that flickers in and out during many of your songs. The imagery and poetic prose
conjured up on ‘Desert’ resonates powerfully. Please talk me through this song and your memories of writing ‘Desert’.

HWB: ‘Desert’ was one of the later songs I wrote for the record. I was on a break from touring and trying to spend some quiet time at home with my guitar in Brooklyn. I wrote the song in one afternoon in my living room there. I had recently been playing a lot of music with my dear friend and fellow musician Alela Diane in support of her record ‘About Farewell’. I was playing second guitar along with her and had been messing around with some of those finger picking patterns. The core of the lyrics are based around a conversation that I’d recently had with a former boyfriend that had left me feeling unresolved. It was also late winter in New York, and the imagery is embedded in observations of the season.

I feel the empowering piano ballads contained on ‘Glider’ serve the vital pulse to this remarkable album, reminiscent of Marissa Nadler, Grouper’s ‘Ruins’ LP and indeed, Sharon Van Etten. It feels as if these songs represent some of the earliest written songs that helped shape the rest of the record. I love the ethereal dimension the piano-based works inhabit, creating in turn, utterly transcendent moments.

HWB: Those are all lovely ladies to mention, thank you. ‘Glider‘ was the earliest track written for the record, and was written while I was still living in Berlin before moving to Brooklyn. ‘The Sentiments’ was written somewhere in the middle of that two year writing period, and ‘Fall Hard’ was actually the last song I wrote for the record. Maybe it’s appropriate that they are scattered like they are throughout the record in a sense; I hadn’t thought about that.

What records do you find yourself coming back to, time and time again? Please discuss any books/gigs/music/films you have been most impressed with lately?

HWB: My musical tastes really vary. On the classic side, I always go back to records by Kate Wolf, Neil Young, and Springsteen. These are all records I grew up listening to. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of Dawn Upshaw performing Henryk Górecki’s Symphony no. 3, Rachmaninoff’s piano concerto no. 2, or any Chet Baker record. I also love a lot of new indie bands, jazz, ambient – the list could really go on forever. I think the most memorable performances I’ve seen in the last few years was Antony and the Johnson’s performing Swanlights at Radio City Music Hall. I love seeing dance performances. ‘Drift’ by Cindy Van Acker, and a piece titled ‘Leading Light’ by Suniti Dernovsek are two of my favorites I’ve seen in the last year. I recently read ‘Light Years’ by James Salter and ‘The Year of Magical Thinking’ by Joan Didion – both beautiful books. I’d highly recommend both.

 


 

wv135

‘Glider’ is available now on Western Vinyl.

http://heatherwoodsbroderick.com/
http://westernvinyl.com/

Mixtape: A Call For Distance

leave a comment »

acallfordistance_sleeve

A Call For Distance [A Fractured Air Mix]

To listen on Mixcloud:

https://www.mixcloud.com/Fractured_Air/a-call-for-distance-a-fractured-air-mix/

 

Tracklisting:

01. Steve Reich ‘It’s Gonna Rain, Part I’ (excerpt) [Nonesuch]
02. Colin Stetson And Sarah Neufeld ‘Won’t be a thing to become’ [Constellation]
03. So Percussion ‘Music for Wood and Strings: Section 1’ [Brassland]
04. Nils Frahm ‘Wall’ [Erased Tapes]
05. Dawn of Midi ‘Nix’ [Erased Tapes]
06. Craig Leon ‘She Wears A Hemispherical Skullcap’ [RVNG Intl]
07. Holly Herndon ‘Morning Sun’ [4AD]
08. Severed Heads ‘Dead Eyes Opened’ [Dark Entries]
09. Lower Dens ‘Your Heart Still Beating’ [Ribbon Music]
10. Heather Woods Broderick ‘A Call For Distance’ [Western Vinyl]
11. Chris Isaac ‘Wicked Game’ [Reprise]
12. Julia Holter ‘My Love My Love’ [Tompkins Square]
13. John Bence ‘Disquiet, Pt. 1’ [Other People]
14. Nick Cave & Warren Ellis ‘Far from Men 2’ [Goliath Entertainment]
15. Edan ‘Beauty’ [Lewis Recordings]
16. Richard Strauss ‘Vier letzte Lieder: IV. Im Abendrot’ (excerpt) [CBS]
17. Tom Waits ‘You Can Never Hold Back Spring’ [Anti-]
18. The Beach Boys ‘Look (Stereo Mix Of Take 20)’ [Capitol]
19. The Books ‘“Ah…, I See”’ [Temporary Residence Limited]
20. Glen Campbell ‘Guess I’m Dumb’ [Ace]

The copyright in these recordings is the property of the individual artists and/or their respective record labels. If you like the music, please support the artist by buying their records.

To follow Fractured Air you can do so on Facebook HERE, or Twitter HERE.

 

 

Chosen One: Sharon Van Etten

leave a comment »

Interview with Sharon Van Etten.

“If you work on anything long enough hopefully you’ll get better and I feel like we’re just growing.”

—Sharon Van Etten

Words: Mark Carry, Illustration: Craig Carry

sharonvanetten_arewethere

When Jersey-native and New York-based songwriter Sharon Van Etten first announced the arrival of ‘Are We There’, Van Etten’s fourth full-length and follow-up to her 2011 seminal work ‘Tramp’, she had these words to share: “I really hope that when someone puts my record on that they hear me.” Of course, Van Etten’s wishes have clearly been fulfilled. If there’s one thing we can firmly establish by now it is this: Van Etten makes music from the real world; a world of real events and real people with real feelings. Subsequently, steeped in a sometimes harsh reality, Van Etten’s songs are imbued with fears, struggles and (often) much pain. Much like Chan Marshall’s pre ‘The Greatest’ recorded output, Van Etten bravely examines her own life’s immediate surroundings and relationships to share her most innermost confessions and feelings for us all to bear witness. Through Van Etten’s songs we too can find our own deepest feelings long hidden in the shadows of some forgotten, distant dream.

‘Are We There’ is Van Etten’s first self-produced album (The National’s Aaron Dessner produced its predecessor ‘Tramp’) and features a host of wonderful musicians, including: Torres’s Mackenzie Scott on vocals (who toured extensively supporting Van Etten); Heather Woods-Broderick (on strings and vocals); Mary Lattimore (harp) as well as Van Etten’s trusted and formidable rhythm section (Zeke Hutchins on drums and David Hartley on bass). The use of vocal harmonies (Van Etten, Scott and Woods-Broderick) is a pure joy to witness. The resultant musical arrangements are stunningly cohesive and yet genuinely innovative, providing for many moments of challenging and divine musicianship — at times wonderfully dense and strikingly tactile (‘Our Love’ or ‘Every Time The Sun Comes Up’) — other times remain starkly sparse (‘I Know’) but, importantly, such intricacies of musicianship and arrangements only ever serve the song.

“Everybody needs to feel” sings Van Etten on ‘Your Love Is Killing Me’. It’s a sentiment that best serves the phenomenal and beloved artist that is Sharon Van Etten and ‘Are We There’. It’s another step to becoming your own true self. It’s a destination no one is ever likely to realistically reach but striving for it is proving to be Van Etten (and her sacred songbook)’s true towering achievement.

————

For Sharon Van Etten’s upcoming US/European tour dates, click HERE.

‘Are We There’ is available now on Jagjaguwar.

http://www.sharonvanetten.com/
http://www.jagjaguwar.com/

————

sharon_band_2014

Interview with Sharon Van Etten.

I love how this time around, the new album ‘Are We There’ is self-produced, in contrast to how ‘Tramp’ was made so closely with Aaron Dessner. This must have been a nice change for you to do it all on your own, so to speak?

Sharon Van Etten: Yeah, after touring that album, ‘Tramp’, I finally had a band that we were really comfortable together and I finally was able to bring people into the studio that I trusted – I had never had a band before – I felt finally I had a team to be able to do it myself, you know.

For the songs themselves, as you say, I’m sure each member has a special input into the songs as they’re being made?

SVE: Yeah exactly. I mean from travelling around, they’ve heard me work on them, they’ve heard different parts of like how I started it or how I changed something. I mean they’ve been privy to different points of view of the song, for sure whether it be in my personal life but also in the process.

There’s a lovely parallel between you– especially now when there is several to look back on – and The National. On the new album, you know immediately it’s your music and songs but at the same time there’s lovely new directions too.

SVE: You know I try to just be myself and let things happen. Nothing is intentional you know like sonically; it just takes on its own thing.

I love the production on ‘Are We There’.

SVE: I just felt really comfortable and I think that was a huge part of it. I had to let go and play a lot more than I had on past records and I tried other instruments and I was around people who were excited that I was trying new things. And I feel like the most confident I have ever been, you know just as a person not alone musically and being surrounded by people I’ve been with the last couple of years.

You have a real close-knit band backing you. Each member has their own projects and previous incarnations as well so it’s cool how everything feeds into the next album. So, the music grows just the way the friendships are all growing and you can sense this in the music.

SVE: Definitely. I mean touring isn’t easy and people are giving up their lives to do it or putting their lives on hold because they care about the music. And it’s an emotional thing to do; to leave home and trust these people and you’re like in a van for months at a time, knowing that life is going on without you. So, that’s a good person.

I’m sure you see the songs changing over time as you’re touring?

SVE: Yeah, I definitely feel like we grew together and I feel like the songs have changed, you know throughout years now, you know when you think about it when we started playing. Heather [Woods Broderick], Doug [Keith] and I have played together for two years and we’re band members now and that’s just been this year. If you work on anything long enough hopefully you’ll get better and I feel like we’re just growing.

‘Break Me’ is one particular highlight which reminds me of PJ Harvey’s ‘Let England Shake’ record; it’s really great.

SVE: Aw thanks.

Being involved with every aspect and stage of the music, I wonder is there one particular aspect you like the most?

SVE: Well, I love performing even though it can be very emotional. And that’s something I’m still working on; the actual performance of these songs are really intense. But when I just feel like the band and I just connect and you don’t have to think about it, you know like we’re all in the moment, all the time and that feels really great. But touring life is hard and it’s something I really want to work on because it’s not something I’m comfortable with all the time.

Especially when the tour can be quite extensive, I’m sure you lose the concept of time at some point?

SVE: You definitely do and even though you go to different cities which is really great fun and you meet a lot of great people and perform to different types of audiences and you get to meet up with other bands along the way; it is time travel and when you come home, life goes on without you and the major trade-off is that I’ve missed friends pleasantries, I’ve missed someone’s death, you know there is a lot of things that you miss from not having a real life. But I’m very lucky to be doing what I’m doing and I wouldn’t take it back for the world but there is a trade-off.

Would you have a kind of ritual or routine when on tour, like reading or listening to certain records?

SVE: I try to read, I bring a book or two for the road. Sometimes it is easier and sometimes it’s really hard to try to read. I try to write, I listen to demos, I write lyrics, I listen to Spotify if I’m in a country that I can stream it in. I try to catch up with what’s going on in the real world, you know every day it changes [laughs].

What music are you listening to right now?

SVE: The War On Drugs record of course is on constant rotation and the Torres record is still so beautiful. One thing that I got lucky was that my bandmate Darren Jessee has just finished a new record for his solo project Hotel Lights, it’s a really beautiful record but won’t be out ‘till later this year. I was lucky enough to hear it when it just got mixed. His lyrics are so beautiful and the arrangements are really beautiful. And also, Heather Woods Broderick has a new record that I got to hear also. So another beautiful, sonically incredible record.

You got to work with Stewart Lerman on the new album which must have been a lovely experience for you.

SVE: Yeah, he is so great. I got to meet him doing work on ‘Boardwalk Empire’ and we got along so well that I thought I should reach out to him and get advice from him because I felt so comfortable around him. I was so nervous in those circumstances, I tried to just get advice from him and he ended up wanting to help me with the whole entire album.

 


 

arewethere_web

For Sharon Van Etten’s upcoming US/Australian/European tour dates, click HERE.

‘Are We There’ is available now on Jagjaguwar.

http://www.sharonvanetten.com/
http://www.jagjaguwar.com/

————

Written by markcarry

February 11, 2015 at 3:04 pm

Chosen One: Efterklang

leave a comment »

Interview with Rasmus Stolberg, Efterklang.

Saturday 15th September 2012. Cork Opera House. The special premiere of Danish band Efterklang’s newest masterwork, ‘Piramida’. A night of true inspiration and divine art. A truly unique musical experience. The trio of Casper Clausen, Rasmus Stolberg and Mads Brauer were joined by the 23-piece orchestra, The Major Lift Orchestra which was conducted by Mathew Coorey. The familiar members of the Efterklang family tree were present, most notably Peter Broderick whose own solo work inhabits similar otherworldly dimensions. The new album ‘Piramida’ sounds familiar in its magnificent beauty yet mysteriously unknown, all at once. The live songs showcased the band’s continued evolving blend of dreamy orchestral pop music. Songs like ‘Black Summer’ was a crystallization of all things Efterklang; the heavenly realm of brass, woodwind and strings orchestrated beneath Casper Clausen’s unique voice and songcraft. A symphony of life long emotion distilled in six minutes. The musicianship on display was awe-inspiring. Back stage, stage left was my primary focus during the night. Peter Broderick, a musician lost in the music, who existed in a realm of his own. His majestic harmonies and passionate persona reflected the special air that permeated the sold-out venue. As the band walked off stage, rapturous applause and gratitude escalated to the rafters, whilst the orchestra remained onstage, dumbfounded. Moments later, the joyous musicians graced the stage. ‘The Ghost’ was performed for a second time.

Words: Mark Carry, Illustration: Craig Carry

efterklang_1_craigcarry

Saturday 30th July 2011. Savoy Theatre, Cork. The Reich Effect Festival. A celebration of legendary composer Steve Reich for his 75th birthday. The bill: Efterklang And Daniel Bjarnason And Their Messing Orchestra. The seventeen-piece band effortlessly bridged the classical and contemporary worlds. Special guest (and collaborator) Heather Woods Broderick graced the stage with her transcendent folk music. The intimate songs from her ‘From The Ground’ album (‘Wounded Bird’ and ‘Turned’) created magic and stirred souls. The perfect sonic backdrop to Efterklang’s arrival. Current album ‘Magic Chairs’ made up the majority of the set, from the life affirming ‘Modern Drift’ to the atmospheric ‘Mirror Mirror’ (which is still one of my favourite Efterklang songs). The musicians, all seventeen of them, floated into the audience at the night’s end. A symphony of brass sounds and joyous harmonies journeyed around the venue. The band performing alongside the audience. The musicians and audience were one. Efterklang’s music transported us to new horizons as our hearts were filled with that rare inner fulfillingness.

24th September 2012. The release date of ‘Piramida’; Efterklang’s fourth full-length album. The distinctive artwork and design by long-term collaborators Hvass and Hannibal graces the album cover. The uniqueness in design is shared with other luminaries such as Vaughan Oliver (4AD) and Peter Saville (New Order), that is symbolic of the album’s pivotal importance. The core of Efterklang now consist of the trio of Mads Brauer, Casper Clausen and Rasmus Stolberg. Most importantly, special guests and friends graced the ‘Piramida’ recording sessions; Nils Frahm (piano, wurlitzer), Peter Broderick (violin, piano, vocals), Agnes Obel (vocals), Earl Harvin (Tindersticks, drums) and the 60-piece South Denmark’s Girl’s Choir, among others.

August 2011 was when ‘Piramida’ was born. The band (Mads, Casper and Rasmus) travelled to Spitsbergen in the arctic, where the abandoned Russian settlement Piramida is located. It was left overnight in 1998 and today stands as a ghost town still full of relics from its past including the world’s northernmost grand piano. The band spent nine days in this ruin, just 1000km from the North Pole and collected over a thousand recordings which they used afterwards in different ways in the making of ‘Piramida’. The sounds and inspiration collected from this relic filled ghost town can be heard throughout ‘Piramida’. Lyrically (all songs are written by Caper Clausen), Casper has said the songs are inspired by the cycle of human creations-that being creations like an entire city left to decay in the Arctic or the cycles of our interpersonal relationships in life.

‘Hollow Mountain’ opens ‘Piramida’ and what an opener it is. The song’s initial tones are the sounds of protruding metal spikes of an oil tank which was found in Piramida. The song features Earl Harvin on drums, Nils Frahm on wurlitzer (his albums on the Erased Tapes label are all essential), Peter Broderick (strings) and the 60-piece South Denmark Girl’s Choir. The cinematic intro transports me back to Efterklang’s first full length ‘Springer’ released on the Leaf label, which is filled with sublime electronica and multi-layered ambient sounds. The refrain of “Do it, do it, do it, do operator” are the first words sung by Casper. Percussion and a heavenly symphony of sound builds very nicely, with Broderick’s strings providing the song’s shining spark.

‘Apples’ is polished pop of intense beauty. The song was one of the first songs written for the album after the band’s return from their trip to Piramida. As the band have described, ‘Apples’ is mainly a song about letting go of love in the attempt of finding it again. Every element of Efterklang’s musical palette is tapped into here. Harvin’s warm drums provides the song’s guiding beat. The visionary sound of french horn, trombone blends gorgeously with the compelling tones of programmed synthesizer. The intricate arrangements and superior musicianship of Efterklang’s larger ensemble flourishes on ‘Apples’. Casper sings “To runaway, runaway to this heart/you runaway runaway to the start/you are forgotten” wherein one feels the letting go of love occurring during the music’s ebb and flow. For me, ‘Apples’ represents the band’s natural progression on from ‘Magic Chairs’, where their orchestral pop oeuvre is continuing to evolve. Lyrics like “Another way, another way into your heart” and “All kinds of ways into your garden” beautifully evokes the human heart’s search for love.

Ascending harmonies and rising tones are the first notes on ‘Sedna’. The directness of this ballad for me is simply breathtaking. A beguiling atmospheric soundscape builds throughout. Rasmus’ bassline groove is one of ‘Piramida”s highlights. Peter Broderick’s piano and violin adds to the astral journey. “All living is taking me over/There is a truce in calling for the night”, Casper sings on the chorus that conjures decay and life’s unravelling. The falsetto vocal creates new depths to the new age ballad, recalling the sound of The Antlers. ‘The Ghost’ is the album’s anthem. Similar to ‘Modern Drift’ from ‘Magic Chairs’ or ‘Mirador’ from ‘Parades’, ‘The Ghost’ is laden with irresistible pop hooks and layers of intricate sound. Soul is washed over the sheen of orchestral pop. The chorus refrain of “the ghost the ghost that never was” stays with you long after ‘The Ghost’ comes to completion. Towards the final stages of the song, an eruption of glorious soul takes place. Casper’s falsetto and a combination of harmonies swirl together amidst the full swing of orchestra. ‘Piramida’ is in full fruition here, with shades of Curtis Mayfield such is its uplifting, life affirming soul. Timeless.

‘Black Summer’ is the album’s centrepiece. I think this is their finest creation thus far. The wide dynamic range, from hushed, cinematic tones of keys (what a groove!) to the crescendo of the 60-piece South Denmark Girl’s Choir transcends time. The power and glory of the band’s very essence of sound is to be celebrated on ‘Black Summer’. Brass, woodwind, strings and choir expels darkness. Agnes Obel’s backing vocals casts magic over the dark realm of sound. ‘Black Summer’ belongs to the works of Steve Reich, with its pulse and flow of life and emotion. A full-blown masterpiece. The initial piano notes of ‘Dreams Today’ echoes the otherworldly dimensions of Iceland’s Mum and Sigur Ros. Electronics, piano and xylophone provide the sound clouds for dreams. ‘Dreams Today’ is an electronica gem with masterful production. ‘Between The Walls’ contains uplifting trumpets and saxophone that lifts you in a profound way. The dreamy synth of ‘Monument’ provides a fitting close to ‘Piramida’. The woodwind of flute adds bright colours to the expansive canvas of sound. The spectrum of Brian Eno’s ambient works is explored here, where a 21st century lullaby drifts onto the horizon of the arctic and beyond.

efterklang_3_craigcarry

Interview with Rasmus Stolberg

The new film ‘The Ghost Of Piramida’ documents your visit to the former Russian mining town. Describe the influence the place of Piramida had on you please?

Rasmus: It is the kind of place where you can’t help thinking or wondering. You start thinking about mankind and time and nature in broad scales – and afterwards on your own little persona and what exactly you are and why.

It was a big inspiration and also a little sad – I have to admit it is not an uplifting place. You sort of get the feeling that humans are this parasite desperately trying to overtake a magic and dramatic place where we don’t belong -> this forces the question -> where do we belong?? I don’t know. But creating music and making this trip into something special felt good.

————

The wonderful film ‘An Island’ by Vincent Moon is a beautiful insight into Efterklang and is filled with many inspiring scenes and moments. The last scene takes place at Sønderborg Gymnasium. 

The three of you-Rasmus, Casper and Mads; attended this high school in the late 90’s. This is the time and place where you all started playing music together. Can you please recount for me your memories of this special time, where you started playing music together.

Rasmus: I started my first band with Mads when we were in 6th grade. Later we were in different bands sort of competing a little.

Later I started in high school and at the opening party Casper and I decided we should start a band with a drummer, bass player, two guitarists and we felt it was very important to have an organ player as well. We never found the organ player, but we asked Mads to join the band shortly after.

It was a good time and our early adventures developed into the dream of moving to Copenhagen and so we did and this is where Efterklang took its start.

————

Congratulations on your new album ‘Piramida’. The record is yet another masterpiece full of compelling sounds and intricate details. My personal favourite is ‘Black Summer’ and in fact, it could be my favourite Efterklang song. Can you please discuss the construction of this song and how it came together to become ‘Black Summer’?

Rasmus: It started with that marimbaish sound that sort of loops. Thats a sound we found in Pyramiden on Svalbard. A drumbeat and the piano chords were added and we all agreed there was some magic to this loop. It was about 1 minute long. we couldn’t figure out how to make it into a song however. It was one of the songs we spend the most time on. It almost didn’t make it to the album – today we are really happy that it did!

————

I was very fortunate to see you perform ‘Piramida’ with the Major Lift Orchestra at the Opera House in Cork. I would love to gain an insight please into the band’s preparation process involved for playing these new songs live with an orchestra on this ‘Piramida’ tour?

Rasmus: It was a project almost as big as the making of the album.

we collaborated with the composers Missy Mazzoli and Karsten Fundal on the arrangements for the orchestra and spent many hours getting those scores to be perfect.
We also engaged Hvass&Hannibal and scenographer Nico de Rooij to create a special set design and visuals.
we were running out of time before the premiere in Sydney Opera House – the weeks leading up to that concert we practically spent every hour awake working on this / rehearsing, changing stuff, scores, visuals etc etc etc

When we finally got on stage in Sydney the work paid off – we were able to actually enjoy playing and we knew our parts even though every single one was completely new. It was such a relief. wow!

————

‘Piramida’ is out now on 4AD

efterklang_2_craigcarry

Written by admin

December 16, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Something’s Going On: Efterklang

leave a comment »

 Illustration: Craig Carry

This week sees the highly anticipated return of Denmark’s Efterklang in support of their forthcoming album, ‘Piramida’. For their Irish dates in Cork and Dublin, the band will be joined by The Major Lift Orchestra. The audiences who witnessed Efterklang’s live appearance in Cork last year as part of The Reich Effect Festival, know what a special occasion awaits us.

‘Piramida’ will be released on September 24th on 4AD.

Efterklang will feature in our ‘Chosen One’ section very soon.

Efterklang play Meeting House Square, Dublin, Fri Sept 14th, as part of the Absolut Fringe Festival, and Opera House, Cork Sat Sept 15th, with The Major Lift Orchestra conducted by Matthew Coorey.

 

Written by admin

September 11, 2012 at 5:53 pm