Posts Tagged ‘ unwed sailor

btv072 Unwed Sailor : The White Ox

Unwed Sailor
The White Ox (btv072)
Buy Online | cd / 2xLP
Track listing:
1 Shadows
2 Gila
3 Numbers
4 Night Diamond
5 Pelican
6 The End
Johnathon Ford went to Bloomington, IN to work on some remixes of an out-of-print Unwed Sailor 7”, The Magic Hedge, in the spring of 2005 with Dan Burton (Early Day Miners, Ativin). The two had previously worked together on the first Unwed Sailor full-length, The Faithful Anchor, and the Stateless collaboration between Unwed Sailor and Burton’s Early Day Miners. There were good vibes in the Burton basement studio and the remixes were quickly engulfed by the goal to finish the new full-length, The White Ox. Ford’s bass, guitar, keyboard, and percussion parts were joined by Burton‘s guitars, extra bass from Phillip Blackwell (Questions in Dialect), and drummer Matt Griffin (Early Day Miners) to mix up their medicine drawing on ambient production influences from Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois (with whom Dan Burton had interned). Back in Seattle, Ford later enlisted the help of Kevin Barrans (Rosie Thomas, Damien Jurado) to add pennywhistle and accordion parts which were recorded by Josh Myers, who recorded Jeremy Enigk’s forthcoming World Waits album.

The White Ox continues on from where The Marionette and the Music Box left off with “Shadows” echoing those staccato melodies, but channeling them through a dark dream of ambient effects. Here, Ford and Burton are challenging their audience, the fans who loved the upbeat melodies of The Faithful Anchor and were charmed by the sweet fairy-tale aspects of MarionetteThe White Ox is brooding, washed in the night air darkness to which “Shadows” alludes. Surprisingly, for the traditionally instrumental Unwed Sailor, both “Gila” and “Numbers” feature Burton’s vocals, with Ford’s murmuring falsetto providing the haunting background for “Gila’s” almost gothic melody. Johnathon Ford grew up in Oklahoma and there are hints of Native American imagery in the album’s themes and spacious sensation and “Night Diamond’s” shimmering countermelody evoking nocturnal sounds in open country, culminating in “Pelican’s” airy, birdlike pennywhistle melodies. These music elements all connect to the cover images of both the Circles ep and The White Ox album. UK artist James Marsh was enlisted for the cover artwork for both. His distinct mystical images have also graced the album covers of every one of legendary band Talk Talk’s releases.



btv076 Unwed Sailor : The Faithful Anchor LP

Unwed Sailor
“The Faithful Anchor” (btv076)
Buy Online | 180g LP
Track listing:
1. Last Goodbyes
2. The House of Hopes…Dreams…and Wishes…
3. The Faithful Anchor
4. Our Nights
5. Golden Cities
6. Ruby’s Wishes
7. In the Presence of Thrones
8. Riddle of Stars
9. The Quiet Hour
In 2000, Johnathon Ford was living in Chicago and began to piece together a touring version of his Unwed Sailor. The band took the road, playing several dates with friends Pedro the Lion and headlining several Midwestern shows. Ford enlisted the live guitarist, Nic Tse, and drummer Matt Johnson (Roadside Monument) to record the debut Unwed Sailor full-length, The Faithful Anchor, with Daniel Burton (Early Day Miners, Ativin) in Bloomington, IN. Unwed Sailor had captured the hearts of its audience through Ford’s very melodic, energetic instrumental songs with interweaving, delicate guitar melodies carried by a trademark bass sound. Burton captured that live energy, mixing in Eno-esque ambiance and just a hint of experimentalism. The resulting album is an instrumental classic.

As a cd, The Faithful Anchor has been in print since its release in the summer of 2001. An initial pressing of LPs sold out quickly and these have not been available for over four years. Now, the audio has been re-mastered to lacquers and this vinyl edition is on audiophile 180g virgin vinyl. Burnt Toast Vinyl is happy to preserve The Faithful Anchor in this deluxe format.

Born in Seattle in 1998 at the tender age of intent, Unwed Sailor is helmed by Oklahoma-born songwriter Johnathon Ford. The basis for the instrumental project came into being while Ford was still writing with Seattle luminaries Roadside Monument; pulling toward a bass guitar-oriented sound, the songs he’d begun to craft did not wholly feel right for Roadside Monument, thus the unbeknownst predestined forming of Unwed Sailor. Not aiming for Unwed Sailor to fall into the regular confines of a typical band, Ford’s ever-evolving cast and crew has been tirelessly composed over the years of good friends and company, as the band has since been relocated and based out of cities across the United States including Chicago, New York, Jackson, MS, Little Rock, AR, and back now to Seattle.

With over 15 U.S. tours and 4 in Europe, the band has traveled almost as much as it’s evolved. Since their 1998 debut release Firecracker, the band has continued to endeavor side-door studies into the pictures behind sound, opening myriad avenues of instrumental excavation on their first full-length The Faithful Anchor to short-film soundtracks for filmmaker Chris Bennett, resulting in Stateless (a full-band collaboration with Early Day Miners) and the music to For Johnathan alongside bands like The Album Leaf and Tarantel. In 2003, the shape of Unwed Sailor changed dramatically as the sound ensued less a standard suite of songs, becoming more like a growing creature, cinematically operated and tell-tale both in its sonic and packaged presentation. The resulting album was recorded and released as The Marionette and the Music Box; music set to tell the painted story of a lonely little marionette in search of a cherished, lost music box. Describing the picturesque rushes and swells of a rather unique orchestra, Ford has become a maestro in his own rite, leading his band through pieces as suited for concert halls as they are the hot, impassioned stages of dark nightclubs from city to city. And as a live performance, the music is only more chaotic in its finely tuned restraints; here audiences are treated to a powerful performance, played out as though on the screen, and walking away from the shows as though from a theater, excited and curious about the world again. On stage, Unwed Sailor as people melt away, becoming nobody and everybody at the same time; a two-hearted octopus with every arm working twice as hard.

A Seattle based Unwed Sailor has toured twice during 2006 already with a month-long stint through the South and Midwest in early summer, with many dates accompanying me without you, and a two week romp up the west coast this August. The band is set for a solid month in Europe with 30+ dates in Germany, Holland, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, and the UK during September and October. They’ll be back in the US to tour in support of the formal release of The White Ox, carrying on down the lonesome, always stretching road.



btv081 mewithoutYou : brother, sister LP

mewithoutYou : Brother, Sister (btv081)
Buy Online | LPTrack listing:
A Side
1. Messes of men
2. The Dryness & The Rain
3. Wolf Am I! (And Shadow)
4. Yellow Spider
5. A Glass Can Only Spill What It Contains
6. Nice & Blue, Pt. 2
7. The Sun & The Moon
B Side
1. Orange Spider
2. C-Minor
3. In A Market Dimly Lit
4. O, Porcupine
5. Brownish Spider
6. In A Sweater Poorly Knit
In a move that may be shocking to some of our instrumental fans, Burnt Toast Vinyl has issued the vinyl for for mewithoutYou‘s Brother, Sister. They’re everyone’s favorite leftist, biodiesel bus-driving, freegan post-hardcore rockers and all around great guys. We’ve known Aaron and Greg for years, both having played in an earlier band with an ep release on btv in the label’s infancy. Brother, Sister is one of our favorite records of 2006 and we’re very proud to be able to give it a proper release on vinyl. It’s the swan song release of their career–an indie rock opus that challenges their listening base, utilizing lush layers of melody, mixing in a bit of post-hardcore style, and quickly shifting gears back and forth, creating a unique amalgam of styles.“I do not exist,” mewithoutYou frontman Aaron Weiss mutters to open the band’s third full-length, Brother, Sister, setting the tone for an album that explores cosmological, existential, and interpersonal crises with equal aplomb. However, while Weiss has become known for his stream-of-consciousness lyrics communicated via his half-sung/half-shouted vocals, Brother, Sister is a huge progression for Weiss personally, as well as the rest of the Philadelphia-based band—guitarist Michael Weiss, guitarist Christopher Kleinberg, bassist Greg Jehanian and drummer Rickie Mazzotta.In a musical landscape dominated by genre divisions and marketing campaigns,Brother, Sister is simply an album made by five people who create art without any limitations—and that’s what makes it so important. While the album retains mewithoutYou’s instantly recognizable post-hardcore sound, Weiss’ vocals and the implementation of atypical instrumentation are the most instantly recognizable shifts from 2004′s Catch For Us The Foxes. “A lot of our old stuff is all shouting and that’s still there,” explains Weiss. “But I’ve never really listened to heavy music; with this record, my goal was to make music that I wanted to listen to. Not everyone agreed at first, but I wanted to incorporate different types of melodies and instrument—and those are probably some of my favorite moments on the record.”

While Foxes and mewithoutYou‘s debut [A -> B Life] were rife with delay-driven guitars, explosive drumming and driving songs, the beauty of Brother, Sister alternately lies in its subtleties. Opening with a lone Wurlitzer and minimal percussion, “Masses of Men” crams more emotion into three-minutes than screaming ever could; “The Dryness and the Rain” incorporates an middle-eastern orchestra for its chorus; and the quasi-ballad “A Sweater Poorly Knit” is probably the most epic song the band have ever crafted, featuring acoustic guitar, accordion, harp, flugelhorn, and trombone into a musical journey that shifts from beautiful to foreboding and back again seamlessly. The harp and organic imagery easily call to mind Joanna Newsom’s Milk Eyed Mender. “And it’s light and dark as honeydew and pumpernickel bread”, “Take the fingers from your flute, weave your colored yarns, and boil down your fruits to preserves in mason jars”, “The books are overdue and the goats are underfed” are phases that exemplify some sort of simplistic freak folk poetic mastery.

This is a beautifully instrumented album featuring flugelhorn and trombones from members of Anathallo (Nettwerk), upright bass from Orlando Greenhill of Create! (Sounds Are Active), beautiful harp playing from Nashvile based Timbre, tribal drumming/vocals from psalters, and vocals from Jeremy Enigk. The rich production was done by Brad Wood who has also produced albums for Codeine, Seam, Sunny Day Real Estate, Liz Phair, Hum, Smashing Pumpkins, and The Sea and Cake. At home on the vinyl, the drums especially sound warm and monstrous. It’s a deluxe format white vinyl with an oversized poster lyrics insert that does justice to the cover painting from Vasily Kafanov.

mewithoutYou has toured extensively over the past two years with bands such as Thursday, The Blood Brothers, Coheed and Cambria, Minus the Bear, Brand New, Sparta, Piebald, Jeremy Enigk, and Burnt Toast Vinyl’s own Unwed Sailor.

“The ultimate result of listening to Brother, Sister–other than the nagging temptation to…listen to it all over again–is the realization that mewithoutYou have written an album that will be with our generation for quite some time to come. And, trust us; we don’t normally say shit like that.” –Jason Schreurs, Wonka Vision