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.
After basics were recorded, Clinton began the long process of completing the album, and I moved to Germany. The album would be finished and given a name, and a new lineup would be collected to support the album around Boston.
Years later, Clinton and I traded emails to feel out the possibility of recording another album. He’d begun work on material with his live band. He gathered a new group of musicians and I returned from Germany for a month. We rehearsed in Allston and then hit another studio in Waltham, this time Woolly Mammoth Sound, and got to work. Basics were done within the week, recorded live as a band, just like Stories of Earth, but this time to silicon.
White Knuckle Dress is nearing completion, now three years later. Clinton sends me mixes from time to time, and oh man am I excited for it to be released upon the world.
And in the meantime, Clinton and I are up to something new.
Our band is now called Beauty is the End, and has entered a new intercontinental phase. Rather than meeting once every three or four years to record an LP, we’re getting regular and process-oriented: We’re recording a song every month, and releasing each as a single. (What constitutes a “band?” Are we now a “project?”)
Clinton’s been experimenting with electronic sounds and self-production, and I’ve been getting to know my electronic drums and software better. The first song I recorded completely digitally will be out later this month.
That song will be called “Cherub Allies” and is a follow-up to this month’s “The Glass Wall,” a song Clinton put together himself, with a wonderful video by artist Ian Tartasky. You can watch it here.
And in November we released “Going to a Town,” a cover of a wonderful song by Rufus Wainwright. (December we skipped due to the holidays.)
If you’re into the sound, keep an eye on our Instagram and Spotify, or visit back here. I’ll be sure to post about anything new.