Band: Andrew Paley
Label: Make My Day Records / Indigo
Ein Wanderer zwischen den Welten, so könnte man Andrew Paley bezeichnen. Auf der einen Seite die schweißtreibende Post Punk Band The Static Age die vor allem in den Staaten erfolgreich veröffentlicht und tourt und auf der anderen Seite seine behutsam sich im Aufbau befindliche Solokarriere. Soweit keine neue Geschichte, solo aktive Frontmänner gibt es ja nicht wenige, den Unterschied aber macht die Musik. Weit weg von Post Punk oder Lagerfeuerromantik ist es die ungeheuer intime Atmosphäre seiner Songs und der Art sie zu präsentieren die hier die Solo Aktivitäten wirklich rechtfertigt. Dreht man die Anlage ein wenig auf, kann man die Songs und den Raum in dem sie entstanden sind quasi fühlen, man wähnt sich mittendrin, eine Nähe die man erstmal zulassen muss angesichts der auch textlichen Reife und Ausdruckskraft. Wollte man es auf Bekanntes runterbrechen, so könnte man als die sich ergänzenden Grundpfeiler Elliot Smith, Bon Iver und Active Child nennen. Man könnte auch sagen, dass es nicht von ungefähr kommt, dass er mit Garrett Klahn (of Texas is the Reason), Karl Larsson (of Last Days of April), The Lion And The Wolf, Adam Rubenstein (of Chamberlain) tourte. Brüder im Geiste, was musikalische Freiheiten angeht.
In a recent interview, Andrew Paley summed up his songwriting as the pursuit of "open spaces, sharp edges and bright colors." He was referring to his work with the critically acclaimed post-punk band The Static Age, but with the release of his new solo effort, "Sirens" (out this Fall on Paper + Plastick in the US and Make My Day Records in Europe), it's clear that he's carrying that spirit with him into the next chapter. And it promises to be a genre-bending, expansive one.
The 12 songs on "Sirens" are drawn from two distinct EPs: 1) a set of new songs recorded over early 2016 during sessions split between his current hometown of Chicago, IL and back where he grew up in the woods of Vermont, and 2) the 7-song EP "Songs for Dorian Gray" that saw a limited release in late 2014/early 2015. It's the first time any of the songs will be widely available or on vinyl.
As a producer once put it to him, "There's something about just you and a guitar in a room," and the songs that previously appeared as "Songs for Dorian Gray" are a testament to that -- a stripped-down collection Paley had tracked as odds and ends in between sessions with The Static Age as far back as 2009. Intimate and sparse, they capture Paley's essence as a singer/songwriter.
But the new works take it a step further, and that's where the other half of "Sirens" picks up. Here Paley explores much bigger soundscapes while somehow managing to maintain the feel of "a guitar in a room." By the time you've made it through the album's effected-acoustic opener, "Come Home," (featuring Tom George of The Lion and the Wolf on harmony vocals), the piano-driven and crescendoing "Take Cover," and the synth-heavy movement of "Let Me Go," Paley's pursuit -- "open spaces, sharp edges and bright colors" -- is on vivid display. From there, the other new additions -- the night-chill of "Go to the Wolves" and the wistful-but-driving lilt of "Ellie Dreams of Flight" -- see him hew more closely to his "Songs for Dorian Gray" work, but expanded through a variety of new accompaniments.
The new direction of "Sirens" is filled with promise. And while this isn’t his first foray into work outside of a band — this album is a followup to his first solo effort, “White Rooms,” which was produced by Matt Squire — Paley suggests he's just getting started. "I have a cache of songs that I've been working on for a few years now in-between everything else," he says. "I've always wanted to get them out there, but couldn't find the right home for them. I guess I just had to start building it."
And he’s been building it steadily since late 2014. Over the past two years, in between international touring with The Static Age, he’s taken time out to tour behind this project for the first time, playing shows across the US, Europe and Brazil with the likes of Garrett Klahn (of Texas is the Reason), Karl Larsson (of Last Days of April), The Lion And The Wolf, Adam Rubenstein (of Chamberlain), and Northcote.
In support of the new release, Paley will be appearing at The Fest in Gainesville, Florida at the end of October before embarking on a variety of tours in 2017, including in the United States, Europe and Japan.