Over five years, Oakland’s The Red Thread won acclaim for three albums of lush Americana-touched California pop. After the band had its final performance earlier this year, singer-guitarist Jason Lakis soon announced the release of a debut album from his solo project, Mist and Mast. As Lakis explained during the interview, the album Mist and Mast is a collection of songs written during his tenure in his former band, songs that didn’t feel right for The Red Thread.

Recording all of the parts himself in his Oakland home studio over the course of a year, the resulting album blew us away when we first heard it. It’s a very strong collection of nuanced rock-pop songs, full of great hooks and melodies and a ton of those little textured moments that separate certain singer-songwriters from the pack. Judging by the feedback we’ve seen online, it’s an album that should please Red Thread fans and new listeners alike. As members of the latter group, it’s leading us to go back and listen to a band we’d previously overlooked.

Although Mist and Mast was recorded solo, Lakis has assembled a group of talented musicians to bring these songs to the live setting, a process which, as we learned, has resulted in further evolution for these pieces. We’re looking forward to seeing the full band at their next live performance, next weekend at the Hemlock:

Saturday, November 17th
Hemlock Tavern
with The Dying Californian and The Winks
9:30pm, $7

You can pick up the band’s self-titled album from CD Baby, Amazon and iTunes. To hear more music and find out about other upcoming shows, visit Mist and Mast’s web site and MySpace page.

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