John Vanderslice

[audio:] John Vanderslice – “Fetal Horses” (from Romanian Names, out 5/19/09)

John Vanderslice‘s new label Dead Oceans has posted a first song from his upcoming album Romanian Names. I know I’m supposed to treat a record label’s description of its own release with many grains of salt, but damn if this isn’t getting me excited for the album:

This time, JV moved outside the normal (and by now maybe too comfortable) confines of his famed San Francisco recording studio, Tiny Telephone. He constructed a simple basement studio in his home, and wrote and recorded the elemental demos for these songs alone with simply a guitar or piano to accompany his voice. The emphasis was placed on melody and structure, putting thoughts of instrumentation and studio wizardry on hold until there was a complete and stable foundation to build upon. The songs were given time to breathe, to be re-worked and re-organized, and sometimes enough time to be thrown out entirely. Benefiting from this organic and evolutionary process, Romanian Names coheres beautifully.

…Like a storied artifact from the ’70s, the tunes were subjected to sonic scrutiny by JV and longtime producer Scott Solter. As a result, Romanian Names sounds as though it were from another time, with JV and Solter’s magic echoing John Cale’s Paris 1919, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours and Bowie’s Berlin-era output. Romanian Names is a symphony of sounds both subtle and lush, and as an album it provides the perfect backdrop for JV’s deft and fully-realized songwriting.

The album comes out on May 19th and JV’s playing a release show that day at the Rickshaw Stop. Tickets for the show are on sale now.