Posts Tagged ‘At The Moonbase’

Jake Ewald may only be 27 years old, but he’s already a musical veteran having co-founded the now-defunct (and highly celebrated) emo band Modern Baseball in 2011, back when he was a teenager. Since 2014, Ewald has also been consistently releasing music as Slaughter Beach, Dog, a solo project that  eventually evolved into a full band that also features bassist Ian Farmer, guitarist Nick Harris (All Dogs), and drummer Zack Robbins (Superheaven). However, due to the ubiquitous quarantine, Ewald went back to his roots for “At the Moonbase“, recording and performing all of the instruments himself alone at home and at his recording studio in Philadelphia with a few friends sending him overdubs of backing vocals and saxophone during the process. The result is an inventive album that sees Ewald stretching out as a songwriter and exploring new sonic territory without any self-imposed limitations. 

We caught up with Ewald to discuss how At the Moonbase came together after four months of hard work, his song writing process, and why the idiosyncratic details of other peoples’ lives can often seem strangely familiar.

We recorded the band at our studio, so we went through basically a month of figuring out how to appropriately mic up fifteen different instruments to all be ready to go at a moment’s notice for an hour-long set, and we brought in our friend Matt [Schimelfenig] who actually mixed “At the Moonbase” to run the session while we were playing and then mix the audio. It was a lot more work than we put into anything in a long time. It was fun to figure out actual human band arrangements for the new songs, and we also dipped into old songs, stuff we’ve been playing for a long time. Above everything else, it just felt so good to play together after not playing together for half a year. We’ve been working very hard on it, and we’re so excited to share it with everybody.

Written and recorded alone at home and at The Metal Shop, Ewald’s East Kensington recording studio, the album tracks an exercise in solitary production not unlike Slaughter Beach, Dog’s 2016 debut Welcome or 2017’s Motorcycle.JPG. On the heels of 2019’s Safe and Also No Fear, Ewald’s latest offering brings expanded arrangements and sharpened storytelling as he taps into salad days over slacker rock (“Do You Understand”), the dark grooves of seedy city life (“Song for Oscars”), and even a barroom-piano-driven “escapade through the great American bedroom” (“A Modern Lay”). “At the Moonbase” arrives on Lame-O Records.

All music written and performed by Jake Ewald except where noted

Wil Schade – Saxophone on 1, 5-8, 10
Lucy Stone – Vocals on 1, 2, 6, 7
Zack Robbins – Additional synthesizers on 1, 4
Jessica Flynn – Vocals on 9
Julie Sponsler – Spiritual guidance

Originally released December 24th, 2020

Since the band Modern Baseball announced their indefinite hiatus three years ago, Jake Ewald has committed fully to his Slaughter Beach, Dog project, releasing a handful of albums, including last year’s Safe And Also No Fear, He’s put out a whole new full-length called “At The Moonbase”, whose only advance warning was an advent calendar-style countdown on his social media accounts.

Despite being recorded in a year where it was hard to get together and make music, At The Moonbase is very much a fleshed-out effort, put together at home and at Ewald’s Philadelphia studio the Metal Shop. It’s filled with the sort of down-on-your-luck narratives that Ewald has populated his songs with over the years, twangy and comforting and filled with wry observations that cut to the bone.  it’s always wonderful seeing Jake’s song writing improve and evolve over the years and it shows quite a bit on this record in particular. it’s much subtler of an album, might even be a grower to some, but i think it’s a great way to end the year

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In the time since Modern Baseball went on hiatus, Jake Ewald turned Slaughter Beach, Dog from a solo project into a full-fledged band, and in 2019 SB,D released their best album yet, Safe and Also No Fear. With the pandemic keeping Jake at home more, he returned to Slaughter Beach, Dog’s roots, writing and recording a comparatively stripped-back new album, At The Moonbase, alone at home and at his East Kensington recording studio The Metal Shop. (He did end up getting some accompaniment, though, including sax by Wil Schade and vocals by Lucy Stone.) The album is out now, and it finds Jake’s unmistakable singing and song writing style in fine form.

Released December 24th, 2020

Produced by Jake Ewald at The Metal Shop in Philadelphia, PA and at home June – October 2020