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Jherek Bischoff to release Composed record on Brassland - March 27, 2012

You've started to hear the name Jherek Bischoff around these parts (and by these parts, we mean the Brassland site), but allow us to take a moment to refresh your collective memories. The songwriter, producer, performer and composer has been called a “pop polymath” (The New York Times), a “Seattle phenom” (The New Yorker), and “the missing link between the sombre undertones of Ennio Morricone and the unpredictability of John Cale" (NME). We're trying not to get too braggy over here, but we are proud to be releasing this music and excited to finally announce the June 5th release date of his new album, Composed!

You can download a track from the first "single" right now:

This song will be released as a limited edition 7" vinyl record in an addition of 1,000 copies for Record Store Day. 500 hand-numbered copies will be available in the UK, 500 more in the US. On the 7", David Byrne collaborates on "Eyes," as sumptuous a slice of meta-pop as anything he has produced in years, while Parenthetical Girls' Zac Pennington and French singer/actor Soko duet on the buoyant "Young And Lovely." Neither of these songs will be sold digitally until the album is released. You'll have to buy the 7" to hear them.

Overall, Composed is a meticulously arranged album of nine orchestral pieces featuring guest vocalists on almost every track, a list of luminaries including the aforementioned David Byrne, Zac Pennington (Parenthetical Girls), and Soko -- as well as Caetano Veloso, Mirah, Carla Bozulich (Evangelista, Geraldine Fibbers), Craig Wedren (Shudder To Think) and Dawn McCarthy (Faun Fables). Avant ringers like Deerhoof's Greg Saunier and Wilco's Nels Cline provide instrumental solos.

Fore a more holistic picture of the release, here is a preview video featuring audio excerpts from the entire album. (It's on Vimeo too if you roll that way.):



And here is the tracklist:

1. Introduction (Defeat)
2. Eyes (Jherek Bischoff & David Byrne)
3. The Secret Of The Machines (with Caetano Veloso & Greg Saunier)
4. The Nest (with Mirah Zeitlyn & Paris Hurley)
5. Blossom (Jherek Bischoff with Nels Cline)
6. Your Ghost (with Craig Wedren)
7. Counting (with Carla Bozulich)
8. Young And Lovely (with Zac Pennington & Soko)
9. Insomnia, Death And The Sea (with Dawn McCarthy)

Unlike many big-budget classical productions, Jherek took a particularly DIY approach to the record, first composing the album on a ukulele then producing, engineering, and mastering it all by himself, achieving an orchestral sound without the orchestral cost.

“I recorded each individual musician of the ‘orchestra’ in their own living rooms,” says Bischoff, “And then I layered each instrument--sometimes one violinist playing one part twenty times--until it was the size of a huge orchestra. I spent the summer riding my bike from house to house recording each musician. I finished the album by taking a road trip to record all the singers in person, except for Caetano Veloso and David Byrne, who recorded their own parts at home.”

The result bares traces of Jherek's past playing in DIY bands, his desire to make great pop music, and a love affair with the potential of the orchestra, all informed by his deep familiarity of a catalog of compositional ideas & technique. Particularly notable is Brazilian Tropicalismo legend Veloso guesting on "The Secret Of The Machines" singing lyrics adapted from a Rudyard Kipling poem, though each of the guests leave their own unique print on the remarkable whole. It took years to make this record but it was totally worth it.

All you New Yorkers will get the chance to see Jherek perform at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Crossing Brooklyn Ferry festival on May 3rd.

[ More about Jherek Bischoff ] / [ More news stories for Jherek Bischoff ]



Bryce's big year, MusicNOW is BBC 6Music's 'compilation of the week' - May 04, 2016

Think about label co-founder Bryce Dessner's achievements over the past 365 days and it's easy to see he's had what you call 'a banner year': music festivals built around his extended artistic family in Cork, Ireland and Minneapolis, Minnesota - new compositions premiering at the New York City Ballet and LA Philharmonic - his first major Hollywood film score for The Revenant - and, last but not least, the 10th anniversary of MusicNOW, the intimate festival he curates each year in The National's hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. Speaking of which, we had a happy & unexpected bit of ....continue....

[ More about Bryce Dessner ]



The Gloaming release 2, top Irish charts, tour USA - March 21, 2016

"In a conundrum to cause maths teachers everywhere to break out in hives, 2 has proven bigger than 25, as The Gloaming knock Adele off the top of the Irish charts," wrote Hot Press Magazine last week. Yep that's right The Gloaming's sophomore album has topped the Irish album record sales charts, beating out more familiar pop contenders like Justin Bieber, The 1975 and, yes, even Adele. We were as gobsmacked as anybody when we saw this report. A lot of crazy things have happened to Brassland artists over the years: opening slots on R.E.M. tours, hang ....continue....

[ More about The Gloaming ]



OP-ED: Oscars's music controversy & the dumbing of America - February 29, 2016

After last night's Oscar broadcast, one of the label's co-founders Alec Hanley Bemis wrote a thing about the f**ked-upness of the Oscars' relationship to music in 2016 — and posted it to Brassland's F'book page. Alec has some strong opinions on the matter, having met Elliott Smith in 2000, soon after Smith's own Oscar appearance changed the singer-songwriter's life—for better & worse. And it feels relevant to post here seeing as two of our artists & two mentors/friends of the label were caught up in the competitive scrum of the Academy Awards this year. (To reel '....continue....



Bowie Bonds playlist, Doveman covers "Lazarus" - January 22, 2016

Almost two weeks after David Bowie's passing, the Brassland community is still grieving. Let us be the first to acknowledge that, duh, Bowie occupied a far more widescreen canvas than we could ever hope to. Everyone from his peerless peers like Brian Eno to the artists we grew up with like Trent Reznor to contemporaries who thrill & infuriate us like Kanye West have marked his passing in the social media medium. Unlike another recent legend's passing, we and our roster didn't have a particularly personal relationship with Bowie or his music -- Bowie having been off-the-musical scene ....continue....

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The Gloaming - Cover
The Gloaming - Buy at Brassland StoreThe Gloaming - Buy on iTunesThe Gloaming - Buy on BandcampThe Gloaming - Buy on Amazon
Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers - Cover
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The Sundown Song EP - Cover
The Sundown Song EP - Buy on iTunesThe Sundown Song EP - Buy on BandcampThe Sundown Song EP - Buy on Amazon
Composed - Cover
Composed - Buy at Brassland StoreComposed - Buy on iTunesComposed - Buy on BandcampComposed - Buy on Amazon
Bashed Out - Cover
Bashed Out - Buy at Brassland StoreBashed Out - Buy on iTunesBashed Out - Buy on BandcampBashed Out - Buy on Amazon