The album "Blue" by Echo Bloom will be released on Friday, Dec 4.
We already informed you.
But why is the album called "Blue"?Echo Bloom founder Kyle Evans told us:
We're formed by the frames we put around our lives - our houses, our relationships, our cities. I had reached a point with my writing and recording where I needed to reframe my life to be able to make the things I knew I needed to make. My first record, Jamboree, was a collection of character studies, and while I enjoyed making it the final product was scattered. A reggae song bled into a country song that morphed into a hard rock song. It was a blast to make, but it had all the hallmarks of an unfocused first album, and I could feel it. But there were some hidden gems. So I decided to draw myself a task - determine which of the musical personalities I'd explored on Jamboree I wanted to inhabit for a longer time. And then write albums around each of them.
The first song I picked in the process was The Prostitute, which was representative of a more impressionistic lyrical approach that I thought was interesting. It had the stanza:
I had me a lover years ago
How his hands were the maple trees
Waving shade on the Georgia Spring
We would live together him and me
I would paint while the morning traced
Lines of light on his sleeping face
I would make Alabama a Southern sea
With him waking upon it’s empty beach
Oh and goodbye Savannah
It's one of my favorite things that I've written, and I wanted to structure the songs of a record around a similar feeling - this sense of being everywhere and nowhere at the same time. I knew how I wanted it to sound, and I knew how I wanted it to sound - like a combination of Debussy and Joni Mitchell and the Beach Boys. Big harmonies and carefully crafted instrumental lines. Counterpoint and electronics. French horns and cello and theremin.
|ECHO BLOOM FOUNDER KYLE EVANS|
So with this map to a new world, the next task was to write it. And I knew I needed a change of scenery. I needed to take myself completely out of my comfort zone in life and work from that place. So I moved to Berlin, where I didn't speak the language and could reasonably focus on my work without distraction. I brought a few notation books - I knew I had to learn how to write more complex chamber parts - and a collection of records. I wanted to limit my musical interaction with the outside world to just a few representative albums - Joni Mitchell's "Blue", Neutral Milk Hotel's "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea", Joanna Newsom's "Ys", The Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds" and Nick Drake's "Pink Moon".
And so I holed up. I spent about a month writing songs and working on arrangements, sometimes 12 hours a day. Whenever I would get completely stuck I'd put on my shoes and walk around Berlin. The geography of the city still comes back to me on so many different parts of that album. The ascending keyboard lines in Veins came to me while walking around Treptower Park, looking at the Soviet War Memorial from different angles and trying to come up with a coda. The entire verse for Fireworks came in a dusty old library I'd camped out in briefly - all in one fell swoop (that never happens with me). By the end of my time there I'd created a complete score for the album on staff paper. Some of the pieces were huge, and after listening to the scoring program's MIDI output I only had a vague idea of how they would sound in real life. But I moved back to New York City and started assembling.
New York City is wild - electric - and a perfect place to put a band together. I pulled from folks I'd known in previous groups, friends of friends, and some classical people in the jazz scene around town. The people I met would become mountains in my artistic and personal life - Aviva Jaye on alto vocals, Steve Sasso on tenor vocals and banjo, Josh Grove on guitar, and Jason Mattis on bass. Each session was like seeing a house spring into existence from a crafted blueprint. Watching a paint by numbers spring into life. The metallic notes that blared from my computer's tinny scoring system gradually blooming into reality.
Looking back on it now, I'm happy. I made it for myself, but a lot of other people have enjoyed it which is hugely gratifying. And once the initial record was released, we assembled a touring component of the group that recorded it, and have gone on to tour Europe and record many more songs (including the second record of the colors series "Red"). But it all came back to frames. And taking the time to create one for my life that fit.