|Will Stratton — Post-Empire (2012)|
Will Stratton – Post-Empire
Born: Yolo County, California
Formative years: New Jersey
Location: South Brooklyn, New York City, USA
Album release: March 20, 2012
Record Label: Talitres (France, Germany, Benelux, Switzerland, Austria) / Big Oil Recording Co. (Scandinavia, UK) / Self-released (USA)
01. You Divers 7:10
02. When You Let Your Hair Down To Your Shoulder 3:33
03. Tell Me, Where Do I Begin? 4:02
04. Colt New Marine 4:02
05. Honey Diamond 4:51
06. Post-Empire 3:00
07. At The Table Of The Styx 3:43
08. If You Wait Long Enough 4:12
09. The Relatively Fair 4:45
10. Mercury Id Blues 3:46
Someone in my network tweeted this album by Will Stratton and I tried to check it out. I like Post-Empire. Very rich cinematic, complex and atmospheric. We need to have more of him around to lift our sad spirits. His voice reminds me a bit of Don McLean.
By Baxter Labatos
Engineered by Nicolas Vernhes at Rare Book Room, and by Will Stratton at his apartment in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
Mixed by Will Stratton.
Mastered by Paul Gold at Salt Mastering.
Cover art by Jared Ragland.
Amelia Meath - vocals on 3, 8, 9
Maia Friedman - vocals on 1, 6, 7
Heather Sommerlad - violin on 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9
Cori Tolda - viola on 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9
Adele Mori - cello on 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9
Field Recording on "You Divers" by Matthew Carefully.
My top ten:
July 30, 2011
My “Top Ten Records of All Time”
In no particular order:
Nick Drake – Pink Moon
Scott Walker - Scott 4
The Replacements – Let It Be
Kate Bush – Hounds of Love
Sun Kil Moon – Ghosts Of The Great Highway
Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Prince – Purple Rain
Arthur Russell – World Of Echo
Leo Kottke – 6 and 12 string guitar
Gilberto Gil – Gilberto Gil (Frevo Rasgado)
Will Stratton is an American songwriter, composer, and arranger. He was born in Yolo County, California, and started making up songs on the piano when he was three years old. Will spend most of his formative years in the suburbs of northern New Jersey. On his twelfth birthday, he got his first electric guitar, and in the decade since, music has owned him unconditionally.
What The Night Said, Stratton’s first record as a solo artist, was recorded in the summer after his senior year of high school, at the invitation of the owner of a tiny but well-equipped recording studio in Astoria, Queens. It was quietly released two years later, in 2007, to scattered but unanimously positive reviews. When it came out, Stratton had become a student at Bennington College, writing academic music that attempted to emulate the spirit of New York School composers like Morton Feldman and postminimalists like David Lang. In the time that has lapsed since What The Night Said’s release, Will wrote dozens of works for chamber ensembles and solo piano, and released three free online albums of outtakes, demos, and instrumental music.
In 2009, Will graduated from college and returned with his second album, No Wonder, a more ornate and ambitious record than its predecessor. No Wonder received little attention in the music press, but, despite its November release, its lack of distribution, and its virtually unknown creator, it appeared on some critics’ best-of-the-year lists, drew favorable comparisons to Fleetwood Mac, Nick Drake, and Loudon Wainwright, and received airplay from venerable WNYC radio show host David Garland. The album’s title track was featured as NPR’s “Song Of The Day” in March 2010.
In the summer of 2010, Will went into the studio for a third time, this time without a recording budget, an engineer, or a record deal, and only for a single weekend. In 48 hours he came back with New Vanguard Blues, a spartan album that put his dexterous fingerstyle guitar playing front and center alongside his songwriting. New Vanguard Blues was released digitally two weeks later. Now Will works and lives near the waterfront in south Brooklyn, NY, plays shows and tours when he gets the chance, occasionally does arrangements for fun and profit, and works on a fourth record.
“Will Stratton’s songs are beautiful and bracing, despite — or maybe because of — the abstract, ambitious goals that motivate him…[his] songs gain strength from their ambiguity; stylistically, they’re too imaginative to be easily pigeonholed. Sufjan Stevens and Nick Drake both work as reference points; like them, Stratton makes songs that are elegantly orchestrated. But Stratton is rapidly coming into his own.” – David Garland, for NPR Music
About 2009’s No Wonder:
“Fourteen utterly convincing acoustic ballads and the occasionally fuzzed up retrograde rocker, filled with so many of such balanced gestures of restrained songwriting that one realizes there might actually be people who are good at writing love songs without being ironic or allusive…a lovely, humble, mature record from a person who seems like a lovely, humble, mature human being. The album renders its own quiet rejoinder to those who might insist upon its anachronism, even if it’s doomed to mouthing truths in a slaughterhouse.” – Cokemachineglow.com
“This is a disc that’s stronger, meatier, and much braver than Stratton’s carefully considered debut, and even at the ripe age of 22, Stratton has—once again—proven that he’s capable of filling his songs with more heart and insight than writers twice his age.” - PopMatters
“Quiet, emotional, subtle, breathtaking, consuming, wonderful, No Wonder is quite possibly the most beautiful album to be released in 2009.” (#29 in their top 50 records of 2009) - Ragged Words (UK)
About 2007’s What The Night Said:
“Another disarmingly proficient project by an indie-rock prodigy.” - NPR’s All Songs Considered
“Stratton has produced something stirring and hyper-personal yet universally beautiful.” – All Music Guide
” … If What the Night Said is not a straight-up masterpiece, then it’s pretty damn close.” - PopMatters
“Stratton positively exudes insular transcendentalism…” – Cokemachineglow.com
|Will Stratton – Post-Empire (2012)|