Monday, July 22, 2013

John Vanderslice: Dagger Beach

"'In the deep dark woods / Alone with my fears / Under the jackpine / the sky was galvanized,' avant-indie rock veteran John Vanderslice sings on "Raw Wood," off his new record, Dagger Beach. Vanderslice's dissection of his fears renders his latest outing mesmeric. 'I work better when there's a lot at risk and when there's no map,' Vanderslice says energetically from Tiny Telephone, the San Francisco analog recording studio he has owned and operated for 15 years. 'There was zero map for me on this record, and I knew it was an opportunity for me to make an abstract and weirder record.' In lesser hands, 'abstract' and 'weirder' could be harbingers of sonic doom, the kind of side project your barista foists on you no matter how much you insist you just want to eat your apple fritter in peace. But Dagger Beach, as its title suggests, is cutting and elemental, tugging on listeners until they stop texting and Instagramming and listen. Songs like 'Raw Wood' and 'Sleep It Off' eschew traditional hooks but are fully composed. They create a realm both familiar and out of reach, like what you see when you close your eyes" (Litsa Dremousis, "Heartbreak Takes John Vanderslice to 'Dagger Beach,'" The Record [NPR], 6/14/13).

View catalog record here!


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