Please enjoy the Smiley Smile equivalent of the record I've been wanting to make for the past 4 years. I have lost the energy and joy required to realize my final vision and it feels like time to share the wreckage with the world so I can move on to other things.
This is an album largely influenced by the unexpected death of a friend and the eventual death of my marriage. I wanted to make a beautiful homage to my friend, to my dying relationship and to myself as a person who often wishes he could jump out of his skin and into the ether. It's for every person living and dead who has suffered deeply. I imagine it's best listened to in solitude as it's intended to be heard from start to finish as a continuous journey. But you're a free person, do as you wish.
Thanks for listening. Thanks for understanding. Hope you can still enjoy the ride, incomplete as it is.
p.s. The album is unmastered and therefore requires a wee volume boost on your part for optimal enjoyment.
released 25 August 2015
Colin Stange - Drums, Moral support
Clea Anaïs - Cello (2, 6)
Foon Yap - Violin (1, 2, 6)
Jennifer Crighton - Harp (3)
Jonathon Wilcke - Saxophone (3)
Peter Hemminger - Bass Guitar (3)
Kris Ellestad - Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Piano, Reed Organ, Kazoo, Nose flute, Tin whistle, Mandolin, Accordion
Recorded by Kris at Hexagon Studio and Public Lunch Studios by Patrick Palardy.
All drum arrangements by Colin Stange. All string arrangements by Kris. Choice electric guitar lines written by Colin Mitchell for tracks 5 and 7. Haunting harp line on track 3 by Jennifer Crighton. Sweet descending bass lick on track 3 by Peter Hemminger. Sexy spooky sax by Jonathon Wilcke on track 3.
Cover art by Kiarra Albina.
Unlimited thanks to Colin Stange for being my partner in creating this music as you hear it today. Without him this record wouldn't exist at all, nor would it be in any particular tempo.
Thanks to Peter, Jennifer, Foon, Clea and Jonathon for your beautiful contributions to the album, I'm glad to have you all in there with me.
Deep gratitude to Pat Palardy for making the tail end of the recording process so comfortable and breezy and for teaching me all kinds of things about mixing, and generally being a solid human being.
Additional thanks to all the musicians who helped shape this music by being part of my ever revolving band: Mike Whittington (who helped me find the one bass note that solved the chorus progression in Endless Joy), Neal Moignard (who finished the "end" vs. "edge" debate), Luke Rashotte (for having endured my past incarnation of a band for NMIL and helping out when I started this project), Colin Mitchell (for stepping in on zero notice to learn my stuff overnight to play to a room of mid-wigs and provided some beautiful guitar lines that I ended up recording), Simon Fisk (the ringer), and Kenna Burima (who shared many a libation and provided the inspiration for the reed organ break in The Hanged Man).
Last but most, thank you to my family for the unwavering support.
All songs written by Kris Ellestad.
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