John Vanderslice has always been something of a hero of mine, and how could he not be? The proprietor of San Francisco’s Tiny Telephone Studios, he’s had a hand the production of any number of great records; as a musician in the digital age, he’s always quick to offer MP3s and extras on his website. I interviewed him a few years back and that conversation (sample quote: “Guitars and marijuana love each other”) remains one of my favorite discussions with a musician.
His new record is a bit of a mixture of his last two albums, Cellar Door and Pixel Revolt. Cellar Door remains my favorite of his recent work, but this week’s Emerald City stacks up well. Listen to the harmonies on “White Dove,” and how that unadorned smoothness contrasts with the overdriven roughness of acoustic guitars recorded by microphones placed far too close. The second half especially is one of JV’s strongest sides, so if you pick this one up, stick around for the end.
John Vanderslice – “White Dove”: mp3
And as if the guy wasn’t cool enough, he’s doing live, in-studio videos for all the new songs and giving them out to your favorite blogs, starting with “Kookabura” on Stereogum. Don’t worry about me, John, you can hit us up next time.
(Emerald City is out now on Barsuk; stream the whole album here)
Looking for new music? Click below for more recent and upcoming releases or visit our MP3-filled Album Release Calendar.