|ENTRANCE||Book of Changes|
ENTRANCE — Book of Changes (February 24, 2017)•ð• “The psych~folk solo project of Guy Blakeslee, which spent several years as the Entrance Band trio in the mid~2000s to early 2010s. He moans echo~aked utopian incantations, hustles some groovy conspiracy theories, spins a stolen Dylan melody into an elegiac space jam, and ponders the nature of circular time. But theres as much Sonic Youth doom in his band s guitar explorations as there is folky grooviness.” — Rolling Stone
•ð• Beginning as the acid folk solo project of Guy Blakeslee, the Entrance Band have grown into a proper trio of menacing psychedelic proportions.
Born: April 24, 1981
Location: Los Angeles, California
Styles: Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Folk, Indie Rock, Neo~Psychedelia
Album release: February 24, 2017
Record Label: Thrill Jockey
01 Warm and Wild 1:41
02 Always the Right Time 3:31
03 I’d Be a Fool 4:18
04 Summer’s Child 5:34
05 The Avenue 4:35
06 Molly 5:23
07 Winterlude 0:42
08 Winter Lady 4:31
09 Leaving California 4:54
10 Revolution Eyes 6:36
•ð• Book of Changes, the new album by Guy Blakeslee as ENTRANCE, is a poetic song cycle about the seasons of the heart, tracing an emotional journey through longing and emptiness to peace and redemption. The record achieves a seamless melding of the personal, political and philosophical, a vibrant document of an artist hitting a creative stride and discovering an expansive new sound. The adventurously produced collection of songs is reminiscent of Townes Van Zandt’s ruminative lyricism and the gypsy flavored orchestral explorations of Arthur Lee and Love, uniquely channeled through Blakeslee’s 21st Century approach to the spiritual dimensions of American songwriting in a way that gives an old form new power.
•ð• Book of Changes was written and recorded by Blakeslee over the course of a restless year of travel, touring and transformation. The album took shape in 11 different studios in Los Angeles and London, produced by Blakeslee and mixed by multi~instrumentalist David Vandervelde (Father John Misty, Jay Bennett) at Elliott Smith’s New Monkey Studios in Van Nuys, California. Additional mixing came from Chris Coady (Future Islands, Cass McCombs) who lent his talents to the song “Always the Right Time.” Grammy nominated engineer Sarah Register (David Bowie, The Shins) mastered Book of Changes.
•ð• On the new recording, Blakeslee is joined by several very talented friends including longtime collaborator Paz Lenchantin (Pixies, Silver Jews) and percussionist Frank Lenz (Pedro the Lion, The Weepies) as well as vocalists Jessica Tonder and Lael Neale and the drummers Derek James and Will Scott. The accompanying art by critically acclaimed artist Amanda Charchian captures Blakeslee with freshly blossomed orchids.
•ð• Strings, pianos, xylophones, bells and dreamy female voices swirl around fluid basslines and fingerpicked acoustic guitars. At the heart of these songs is a voice, which holds an intensity of emotion that can only come from the depths of the soul. From the devotional pop of “Always the Right Time” and the western bolero of “I’d Be A Fool” through the stark blues of “The Avenue” and the dark romantic flamenco of “Molly,” Blakeslee’s singing carries the narrative with heart~stopping force. Each unfolding chapter touches a new emotional nerve, from the Lee and Nancy style sway of “Winter Lady” and the apocalyptic film noir piano dirge “Leaving California” to the anthemic album closer “Revolution Eyes,” which dissolves in a stormy melt of piano and bells as the listener is swept away on an ecstatic wave of liberation and joy. While at moments the ghost of rock ’n’ roll is invoked, for the most part this is something more fragile and ethereal; music from a half~remembered dream, strange and familiar at the same time.
•ð• When asked about the impetus for the new sound and style, Blakeslee replied:
“I desperately wanted to get back to the essential nature of ‘SONG’ — as opposed to a ‘track’… Most music that is released nowadays is really a track, not a song — it would be impossible for one person with an instrument to sit down in a room and perform it… So it was important that this album begin from actual songs that I could sing with a guitar or a piano… all of the textures and sounds I added along the way are the icing on the cake to expand the experience for the listener, but at the heart is a real song, a basic text of words and a melody. I want to do my part to see that tradition isn’t lost. I believe there’s still a lot of power in a song.”
AllMusic Review by Marcy Donelson; Score: ****
•ð• Book of Changes is singer, songwriter, and notably impassioned performer Guy Blakeslee’s first full~length album back under his solo moniker, Entrance. It follows a decade of leading his trio, the Entrance Band. The EP Promises, released just five months prior, teased a sound with a singer/ songwriter~type character much more so than the fierce psych~rock of his group. Written and recorded at home and in nearly a dozen studios during a year of touring and traveling, the album collected performances by several guests along the way, including bandmate Paz Lenchantin of Pixies and percussionist Frank Lenz. The resulting set not only differs from his band, but is more fleshed out and refined than the ramshackle acid folk/blues of his Entrance albums from the 2000s.
•ð• Carrying full~band arrangements, Book of Changes features mallet percussion, strings, and keyboards, among other sounds that add texture in sometimes offbeat ways to acoustic guitar, bass, and drums. After the brief, whistled “Winterlude,” for instance, “Winter Lady” has ethereal backing vocals including lines delivered by the Winter Lady herself, plus violin, warbling electronics, and an icy wind over the core band. The brighter “Always the Right Time” has a classic ‘60s pop vibe, kicking things off on a note of sweetness, though Blakeslee’s loose, idiosyncratic delivery still commands attention with a certain asymmetry. In harmony with the singer, the production here has an organic quality that eschews excessive polish and often sounds live despite some headphone~friendly mixing effects. Perhaps most similar to his prior solo work, “The Avenue,” with its unorthodox, lilting country, highlights the singer’s quivering vibrato on a tale of lost love (“I’ll see you when your trouble gets like mine”). Arguably his most coherent album to date, while off~kilter touches add a layer of artfulness, the songs themselves are engaging, even riveting by nature, and made more so by Blakeslee’s performances.
•ð• In comments about the making of Book of Changes, he said he was looking to get back to the essence of song as a thing one can sit down and play with just a guitar or piano. In combination with relatable lyrics that, as the album’s title implies, deal with life’s wins and losses and the relentless of time, he succeeds at that here, offering melody~centric tunes that captivate. •ð• http://www.allmusic.com/
|ENTRANCE||Book of Changes|