It’s been around eight years since collaborator Clinton Degan and I stepped into Watch City Studios in Waltham, MA, to record basics for our debut album, Stories of Earth, to 16-track analog tape. The album didn’t yet have a name, nor even the band! But with Clinton’s handpicked crew of musicians, and the work we’d collectively put into the beautiful raw material Clinton had brought us together to complete, we knew we’d come out with something special.

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My band Ahabs Linkes Bein went to Notaufnahme Tonstudio in Muenster twice over the last year and cut a few tracks. Three of those have already been released: “100 Bier, “Walgesang,” and “Space Between the Raindrops.”

    “Walgesang” and “Space Between” are opposites in some ways, the soft cloud of “Walgesang” a stark contrast to “Space Between’s” restlessness and drunken mercuriality. Come to think of it, that trifecta with “100 Bier” creates a pretty good picture of the range we’ve been exploring between comforting and less accommodating atmospheres, pop hooks and raw growls; or, to reach for a metaphor more fitting, smooth sailing and stormy seas.

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There’s not much to say about 2020 that hasn’t already been said a million times, and in much more colorful language.

    It’s February. 2021 is already well in swing. A heavy snow sits over everything outside and has all but paralyzed my little corner of the world, and Corona is keeping everyone more or less locked up. 

    So it’s tempting to look back at 2020 and see its fingers following me into 2021, to experience all the negative of 2020 anew with the break of a new day.

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