Thomas Comerford’s Dirty, Beautiful Music Returns With Second Album ll
Due Out June 10, 2014
Thomas Comerford ll Sequence:
(A): Eternal Return*, Done and Done!, How To, Target
(B): Chrysalis, Silt and Dust, Nashville*, Prefer Not To*
More info and videos:
Praise For Thomas Comerford:
“A distinguishing, Jeff-Tweedy-like twang.”
– Big Takeover
“If you’re like me and think the last good thing Lou Reed did was Metal Machine Music, it’s exciting to hear someone take a run at his formula and make music this simple, lucid, and tough.”
– Little Village
“Songs that convince you of rock’s enduring power and elegance.”
– Chicago Reader
“A true original… some of the best, most timeless songwriting.”
– Reckless Records
“His songs remind me of walking through the dark majesty of an empty but palatial house.”
– Chris Connelly
Record Release Info for Thomas Comerford – ll:
June 12 2014, at the Burlington Bar, 3425 W Fullerton, Chicago IL, featuring Mar Caribe + Thomas Comerford + Angela James, 9 p.m., 21+, donation
Thomas Comerford BIO + ll info:
On a summer tour in 2012 to promote his first solo LP, Archive + Spiral, Thomas Comerford was puzzling out how to move forward with his follow-up album. He had demos and basic tracks of new songs, and sounds forming in in his head: Bowie, outlaw country, Glenn Campbell pop classicism and 1970s AM radio fare shot through with some first-wave punk dirt. He had the ebb of his baritone, which curled like smoke around the frustrations, passions and temporary triumphs of the characters in his songs. But he needed a place to work and like-minded people to help him build and shape the material.
On that tour, Comerford realized he need look no further than the stage: to his backing band, recent friends Joshua Dumas and Robbie Hamilton. Both were engineers and studio rats working at Pieholden Suite Sound, founded by the late Jay Bennett (whose songwriting and multi-instrumental acumen graced Wilco from 1997 to 2001). Over the course of the trek, the three developed a musical rapport playing together and sharing, listening to and talking about music and recordings they loved.
“For some time, I’d been enamored of studio-bound records like Buckingham/Nicks and All Things Must Pass, records that I’d never tried to emulate,” Comerford says, “but for the new material, I wanted to go down that rabbit hole and see where the songs could go.”
Fans of the burnished, mellow folk grit of the first LP will find much more at work in their headphones this time around. The multilayered music on II called for an intensive and patient approach, and Comerford found himself becoming a better listener and more attentive to arrangements, drawing on Pieholden’s palette of sounds and textures to push each song into a more expanded character and consciousness. “In the studio, I tried out ‘why not?’ ideas with instruments I had never used before: ‘Chrysalis’ got a mellotron; ‘Nashville’ got a ‘chamber country’ string quartet, and ‘Done and Done’ got some Thin Lizzy–inspired harmony guitars.”
Standout tracks are the hazy-sunny “Eternal Return,” whose zooming, lush harmonies brim with bummer lyrics meditating on self-destruction, Richard Hell and Johnny Thunders, though the narrator does cross his heart to “do my best to get out of it / and out from under it.” “Prefer Not To” somehow sounds like David Bowie and Mick Ronson pitching a song to Townes van Zandt, with the guiding sentiment of Melville’s hero Bartleby the Scrivener lashing into a dense, heavy, dramatic coda. There’s also “Nashville,” so named because Comerford wrote it there, after tracing the Hank Williams family saga at the Country Music Hall of Fame. “Nashville” is perhaps the album’s most direct tribute to a single writer: Mickey Newbury, whose elegant work Comerford discovered on that visit to Music City.
With its dark heart and sturdy melodies, II bears the mark of a dedicated career musician immersing himself in songcraft and discovering new possibilities for his music through the studio.
RIYL: Lou Reed, Bill Callahan (SMOG), Neil Young
PLAYERS: Thomas Comerford, Edward E. Crouse, Jim Duffy (Willis Earl Beale), Joshua Dumas (Quarter Mile Thunder), Robbie Hamilton (Jay Bennett, David Vandervelde) and Gregg Ostrom with SPECIAL GUESTS Angela James, Tatsu Aoki (Miyumi Project), Kent Lambert (Roommate), Tom McGettrick (Mar Caribe), Sam Wagster (Cairo Gang, Bonnie Prince Billy, Fruit Bats), A.J. Bautista, Amanda M. Bautista, Randy Mollner (Panoramic & True) and April Savage.
ARRANGED AND PRODUCED BY Robbie Hamilton and Thomas Comerford at Pieholden Suite Sound.