Posts Tagged ‘Ian Farmer’

Gladie

Cayetana is no more, but singer Augusta Koch has stayed busy with other projects, including Sheena Anika & Augusta and Gladie. a collaborative project with Matt Schimelfenig (Three Man Cannon) who are now rounded out by bassist Ian Farmer (Modern Baseball) and drummer Pat Conaboy (The Spirit of the Beehive) — are set to release their debut album, Safe Sins, on February 28th.

The first single is “A Pace Far Different,” which, like Gladie’s EP, is more atmospheric than Cayetana, but finds Augusta’s voice in perhaps even more powerful form. She says, “This song is about feeling trapped by your own limitations and trying desperately to escape them. We tried to capture that sensation with the erratic production of the song, in that it focuses mainly around repetitive loops that are meant to mirror the feeling of spiraling.”

The very-Philadelphian Safe Sins sounds born of the same brotherly-love pop-punk that fuels groups like Remember Sports and Hop Along, translating years of ex-Cayetana vocalist Augusta Koch’s diaries into something a bit more universal, not to mention streamable. In addition to its early singles, “Even at Your Easel” stands out as one of the best examples of Koch’s ability to balance lyrics about the blue hues against upbeat instrumentation, peaking early with the warm guitar fill following the line “I listened to ‘Sleepwalker’ by The Kinks.” It’s certainly more overcast than “Sleepwalker,” but seems to harness the same literal restless energy.

Lame-O Records Released on: 2020-02-28

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The third LP from Slaughter Beach, Dog; released on Lame-O Records on August 2nd, 2019. Across the previous Slaughter Beach, Dog albums, Jake Ewald has crafted his sound. It’s one that incorporates pop music, indie-rock, folk, and just the faintest dash of punk in order to create something that’s accessible but still artistically rich. With Safe And Also No Fear, the band’s third album, Ewald has abandoned his usual practices in service of creating something richer.

Where he once offered tightly woven vignettes about characters that mirrored the people in his life, Safe And Also No Fear now finds Jake joined by a full band, spinning out songs that push and expand Slaughter Beach, Dog’s sonic boundaries in subtle, evocative ways. Opener “One Down” leans on a pedestrian acoustic pattern that plods in one ear and out the other. “I dress up nice/I feel all right/I get loaded/And I come home late at night,” Ewald sings, without enough conviction to absolve the cliché. He falls into a half-spoken drawl on “Dogs,” a tender discourse on human friendships (“I know he always understands me/Even when I am being evasive”), but the stream-of-consciousness melody feels as aimless as another night at the neighborhood bar.

“Black Oak” achieves a more affecting result by ditching the vocal melody altogether: “His belly warm with drink/He leaned into the freeway in the night/Investigating exit ramps/Waiting for a sign,” Ewald recounts in an unnerving deadpan. The guitars drop out as the song’s protagonist meets tragedy: “They found him at the black oak/They dug him up last night.” A looping coda evokes the spaced-out lapse of highway hypnosis, as if the band were cruising those darkened roads themselves.

After two LPs performed entirely by himself, the beach must’ve grown lonely; on Safe and Also No Fear, Ewald’s third album, he’s joined by a full ensemble that includes Modern Baseball bassist Ian Farmer, his first official reunion with a former bandmate since their indefinite hiatus. Together, they dive into the pared-down folk-rock Ewald had just begun to explore on previous solo releases.

Recorded and produced by Jake Ewald, Ian Farmer, Nick Harris, and Zack Robbins at The Metal Shop Studio in Philadelphia, PA.

By the time you’re reading this, you may have noticed that two Slaughter Beach, Dog songs have surfaced on the internet. We’re here to tell you, loyal Lame-O Records that the new SBD album, ‘Safe and Also No Fear’ will be released on 2nd August.

Across the previous Slaughter Beach, Dog albums, Jake Ewald has crafted a specific sound. It’s one that incorporates pop music, indie-rock, folk, and just the faintest dash of punk in order to create something that’s accessible but still artistically rich. With Safe And Also No Fear, the band’s third album,

In the wake of 2017’s Birdie, an album awash in warm tones and bubbly pop hooks, Safe And Also No Fear can’t help but feel like a turn toward darkness. It’s not one that’s instigated by the outside world—as inescapable as it may be—but instead the dramatic shifts of a person’s interior life. Where Ewald once offered tightly woven vignettes about characters that mirrored the people in his life, Safe And Also No Fear finds him naked at the album’s center, questioning everything he knows about himself. Around him, bassist Ian Farmer, guitarist Nick Harris, and drummer Zack Robbins spin out songs that are dense, swirling amalgams of difficult questions and hard-earned realizations—the kind that can’t be expressed through the accepted structures of pop music.

This isn’t to say there aren’t hooks, as songs like “Good Ones” and “One Day” have effervescent melodies anchoring them, but Safe And Also No Fear generally avoids taking the clear-cut path. As Ewald tells it, that’s a horrifying thing to put out into the world. After putting the finishing touches on the album, he sat down and listened back to the demos he’d first made, then the album itself, and realized it sounded unlike anything he’d ever done before. His creative impulses had changed over the years, and the result was a record that maybe his followers wouldn’t actually like.

Ewald seemingly addresses this anxiety during the album’s most ambitious track, the seven-minute long “Black Oak.” It’s fitting that midway through the longest song Ewald has ever written he offhandedly remarks, “Realizing this may put my career on the line.” It’s part of a larger narrative, but one that’s more textural and ambiguous than what the band has been known for. Is that lyric about Ewald and Slaughter Beach, Dog? We’ll maybe never know—and that’s the beauty of Safe And Also No Fear. It’s an album so profoundly singular, one that sees the band willing to wade out into deep waters without a life vest, that it encourages you to go out there with it. You hear the band fully embrace the unknown at the end of “Black Oak,” when the song explodes open and Ewald’s vocals are looped into a refrain that’s haunting and impossible to sing along with accurately. You can pick out phrases and hum a melody, but there’s no didactic meaning behind it. It’s there for you to find if you need it.

Safe And Also No Fear is a bold gesture, not just because of the music contained therein, but because it required Ewald to interrogate his artistic tendencies, breaking himself of his habits in service of making something he never thought he could. That involved trusting his band, with whom Ewald collaborated for a full year of writing and recording. Unlike Birdie, where Ewald played every instrument, with Safe And Also No Fear everyone’s fingerprints are on it. Though the album is a product of Ewald committing to his vision, it’s also proof of the way that Farmer, Harris, and Robbins are able to expand Slaughter Beach, Dog’s sonic boundaries in subtle, evocative ways.

The result of that collaboration is Safe And Also No Fear, an album that doesn’t leave easy clues as to its influences or intentions, instead offering up vague sketches of what it feels like to be a person who is constantly confused and anxious, yet completely committed to finding a way through it. It’s not simple, and Ewald’s never didactic, but the message begins to come through the more you revisit it. Every part of Safe And Also No Fear is a risk, and that’s exactly what makes it so beautiful. It’s a record that sees a band fully committed to their art, in spite of what everyone else would advise. And if you’re listening close enough, it really does make a lot of sense.