|Larkin Grimm||Chasing an Illusion|
Larkin Grimm — Chasing an Illusion (16 Jun. 2017) • Larkin Grimm is a singer and songwriter of dramatic, Appalachian folk~influenced indie fare that’s difficult to label but consistently idiosyncratic.
• American singer~songwriter and musician born in Memphis, Tennessee. She was born into a religious order called Holy Order of MANS. The Grimm family owns a music store in Dahlonega, Georgia, where she grew up. At 20 years old she dropped out of Yale University and moved to Alaska, where she hiked and began to experiment with singing. Several months later she was convinced by a friend to return to Yale, where she began to record her first album, Harpoon, which was influenced by her experiences performing with the Dirty Projectors. She then moved to Providence, Rhode Island, where she has since produced another album called The Last Tree. Larkin’s third album Parplar was released October 2008 by Young God Records.
• Grimm explained the album was inspired by Ornette Coleman and the powerful experience of attending his funeral last year. The album includes David Bowie~producer Tony Visconti on bass and was mixed with “the same dusty, unlabeled mixing board” as Bowie’s Young Americans.
Born: September 18, 1981, Memphis, Tennessee
Location: New York, New York
Genre: Singer~Songwriter, psychedelic folk, experimental
Recorded: Gowanus, New York
Album release: June 16th, 2017
Record Label: Northern Spy
01. Ah Love Is Oceanic Pleasure 4:19
02. Beautifully Alone 4:14
03. Fear Transforms into Love (Journey in Turiyasangitanand) 6:15
04. I Don’t Believe You 5:33
05. On the Floor 2:13
06. A Perfect World 3:48
07. Keeping You Alive 3:37
08. Chasing an Illusion 8:14
♠♠ Mastered — Avatar Studios
♠♠ Artwork, Layout — Lauren Beck
♠♠ Banjo, Harp — Jesse Sparhawk
♠♠ Bass — Ben Lazar Davis, Tony Visconti
♠♠ Bass Clarinet, Flute — Alec Spiegelman
♠♠ Drums — Jeremy Gustin
♠♠ Layout — Adam Downey
♠♠ Lyrics — Christina Clare Donnelly (tracks: A2)
♠♠ Lyrics, Composed, Producer — Larkin Grimm (tracks: A1, A2, A3, A4, B1, B2, B3, B4)
♠♠ Mastered — Fred Kevorkian
♠♠ Photography — Amy Mills
♠♠ Recorded — Martin Bisi
♠♠ Tenor Saxophone, Synthesizer — Devin Brahja Waldman
♠♠ Trumpet — Heru Shabaka Ra
♠♠ Violin, Arranged — Christopher Tignor
♠♠ Vocals — Darcy Leonard, Jane Abernethy, Larkin Grimm, Margaret Morris (tracks: B4)• “I love touring. I was travelling the world before I started playing music, just for adventure’s sake, and I’ve hitchhiked thousands of miles at this point… I’m just a rambling woman. I’ve got it in my gypsy blood, and I can’t shake the craving. Whenever I stop moving, the demons start catching up to me. Gotta go! Of course, there are things you sacrifice: health, security, romantic partnerships, privacy... The list goes on and on. The hardest thing for me is that I am an artist, too. I used to make oil paintings and big sculptures/ installation art. I can’t make these things without a studio. The most wonderful thing anyone did for me during last year’s European tour was when this wonderful Swedish woman in Umea took me to an art studio where they had oil paints and brushes all set up and a big canvas, and they let me paint! I was so happy I nearly cried. I also had a terrible cold at the time. I remember I could hardly stand up, and every night...bam, bam, bam, NEW SHOW. I’ve really learned to appreciate a quiet room and a soft, clean bed and kind, nurturing mothers everywhere.” Larkin Grimm
BY MILES BOWE, MAY 10 2017
•♦• Today you can hear the album’s first single ‘I Don’t Believe You’ which Grimm originally released last year dedicating it to “all the survivors of abuse” after opening up about her own sexual assault.
•♦• “Through this music I strive to be free,” Larkin said in a statement about the album. “Free from suffering, free from shame, free from inhibitions, free from language, free from hatred, free from oppression, free from gender, free from race, free from expectations.
•♦• The album’s cover depicts Grimm naked and prostrated, which she explains is a traditional spiritual act of humility from a student to teacher.
•♦• “This gesture of humility and openness is extended to you, the listener, as I kneel before you on the cover of this album,” she explains. “Ornette Coleman believed that every listener is equal, and no particular education is required to understand the language of the heart. I hope that this album will heal your pain as it has healed mine. I hope it will bring you closer to the divine.” •♦• http://www.factmag.com/Description:
• As on Larkin Grimm’s previous records, Chasing an Illusion pivots around the Harlem singer’s commanding voice, a bloody howl that is fierce enough to gobble people whole and spit out their souls But the music here is freer than in her past work. Often, the playing veers into territory suggesting adventurous corners of jazz. Combined with Grimm’s vocal heft and hippie underpinnings, the subsequent work frequently brings to mind Astral Weeks (an album that Grimm, naturally, has never heard). Meanwhile, her songwriting remains potent and considered. Lyrics are more direct than on past records, particularly those addressing motherhood — the album’s recurring, if not quite dominant, theme. These songs dig deep, exploring an emotional openness that can feel unusually raw, vulnerable, and, at times, ferocious.
• “I offer up to you my latest attempt at creating utopia through sound. It is called Chasing an Illusion, and it was recorded in a dank, moldy cave in Gowanus, Brooklyn by Martin Bisi, using a decade old vintage version of Pro Tools on a long obsolete computer, and the same dusty, unlabeled mixing board used for David Bowie’s Young Americans. The band was made up of generally all my true loves at once. This is an album about higher love, and truth. Truth in sound, accomplished by recording live, keeping the vocals raw, hearing the actual sound of the room, and letting the out of tune and out of time parts celebrate our humanity and imperfection. That is the beauty of this album, as we honor the perfection of the divine energy that we invoke through the ritual trance of this music.
• In the private viewing room at Riverside Church I was standing in awe above Ornette Coleman’s body. I think he was wearing a purple suit. In death, his body looked like a wax idol. His energy was thick and mellow in the room. As I touched the side of his casket, I heard the words, “The music is yours. This energy is for you. You can use it to make something.” Holding my little jewel of Ornette’s energy in my heart I walked into the main church to listen to the eulogies. Yoko Ono held a white scarf she had knitted with her precious artist’s hands for Ornette to keep him warm. I thought about the musical collaborators I have loved, and the small ways I honor them with my time. I wanted to gather them all together and record immediately. On my way outside the church, I ran into Ravi Coltrane.
• “I think I’m going to make a harp record, in honor of your mom,” I said. “Her music has been getting me through the worst year of my life.” “Is it a jazz record?” He asked. “Maybe it’s a jazz record.” “Aren’t you a folk singer?” someone said. “Maybe you should leave jazz to the people who have studied it for years,” said a guitarist. “Study? I never even practice,” said Ravi Coltrane. “I just play.”
• I turned around and Pharaoh Sanders was standing right behind me. My face turned white. I was starstruck. “Your playing is magic. It makes me cry. Thank you so much,” I said. Pharaoh Sanders, in a long blue robe and a short blue cap, took hold of both of my arms and looked me square in the face, saying nothing. He gave me a somber, stoic hug while one of Ornette’s friends took a picture of us. Two Aliens at a funeral. Smiling with tears in our eyes. And that is the moment in which this record was conceived.
• Through this music I strive to be free. Free from suffering, free from shame, free from inhibitions, free from language, free from hatred, free from oppression, free from gender, free from race, free from expectations.
• In my spiritual practice, when a student is ready to humble themselves and transform, they strip naked and prostrate themselves at the feet of their teacher. This gesture of humility and openness is extended to you, the listener, as I kneel before you on the cover of this album. Ornette Coleman believed that every listener is equal, and no particular education is required to understand the language of the heart. I hope that this album will heal your pain as it has healed mine. I hope it will bring you closer to the divine.” Love, Larkin GrimmReview
Posted by Mark Di Franco in FringeBlog on June 1, 2017 |
•♦• Musicians who tend to explore changes in tone rather than restrict themselves to a particular sound are the ones who usually have compositions that stand out. Among these musicians is Larkin Grimm is one who directs her attention towards her own sound, preventing herself from looking back at her previous work.
•♦• Using a vintage mixing board once used by David Bowie for his album Young Americans, Grimm’s upcoming album Chasing An Illusion provides direct lyrics that dig deep by exploring raw, vulnerable and ferocious emotions. Recorded inside a cave in Gowanus, New York, this will be the seventh album of Grimm’s musical career, set to be released June 16.
•♦• Chasing an Illusion digs deep into the genre of jazz music, but with a lighter touch. Each of the instruments used, including her vocals, deliver the same tone of jazz music, but without adding any distortion and reverb effect.
•♦• “It’s a healing album, like every single song is addressing some sort of pain,” said Grimm. Whether it’s mental or physical pain, each track provides ways of helping people to love themselves as well as others.
•♦• Before becoming the musician that she is today, Grimm studied sculpture at Yale University in 2004; she was in the process of working on a term project that involved several rules and restrictions, one of them being that she had to sing while constructing her project.
•♦• Her tone of voice attracted the attention of several musicians who wanting to know about her musical inspirations. They began inviting her to jam sessions around clubs and bars in the area.
•♦• After a few of these jam sessions, music label Providence Records took notice of Grimm’s compositions and wanted them recorded into an album and released out into the public.
•♦• Despite being invited to jam and being taken on by a record label, Grimm still had trouble gaining respect from other musicians in the industry. She didn’t have any prior experience in music since her education was mostly comprised of visual arts.
•♦• “People assume that I don’t like any sort of music. They are always shocked to hear that I don’t know a specific artist or [even] know what ‘Free Jazz’ is,” Grimm explained.
•♦• As Grimm composes different musical pieces, her intentions are to never sound like another artist, but rather to create a unique sound of her own. If someone tells her that she has a similar sound of another artist, then she considers this a failure. “Maybe I am being hard on myself, but my number one [goal] is originality,” she added.
•♦• Techniques that Grimm gained from painting and sculpting, such as patience and determination, are applied to her musical work. She doesn’t restrict herself playing a specific musical genre, key or beat, but thinks forward towards developing new rhythmic patterns and melodies.
•♦• Yoko Ono and Ornette Coleman are two of her main musical inspirations. Both musicians explore beyond the musical boundaries, making room for discovering different musical keys.
•♦• “They didn’t make their music for people to love them,” said Grimm. She describes how there are musicians who constantly want their audience to project love and affection towards them, instead of opening their musical horizons and discovering different styles of sound and interpreting their music.
•♦• Listening to Chasing An Illusion, the track “I Don’t Believe” immediately stood out. This song describes an individual experiencing intense psychological pain through having all of their horrific memories come flooding back, until someone understands the individual and reaches out to help them.
•♦• The track begins with the sound of a flute holding a high pitched note. Eventually, the harp slowly introduces itself into the melody, sounding as if the strings of a twelve-string electric guitar is lightly being picked without the use of a distortion effect.
•♦• The rhythmic pattern of the track changes once the drums kick in, providing a slow progressive beat, lightly using the snare, bass drum and cymbal.
•♦• Once the beat settles in, the main vocals make a sudden appearance while the background vocals make a slower quieter appearance by repeating the words “I don’t believe” over and over.
•♦• Towards the end of the piece, each of the instruments that were being used slowly phase out of the track until the background vocals are all that can be heard, still repeating the words “I don’t believe.”
•♦• After having listened to the album in its entirety, the only criticism that comes to mind is that Grimm could have used more transitions and tone changes in her tracks, which would have provided a different resonance and melodic patterns and maintained her listeners attention better.
•♦• On an overall note, though, Chasing An Illusion provides a combination of different instruments and interesting sounds from beginning to end.
Also: previous..., http://www.pennyblackmusic.co.uk/MagSitePages/Review.aspx?id=6202
Beatrice Pagni | 16 Giugno 2017 | Score: 7.4
Interview, Righteous Ivan Pawle:
• Harpoon (Secret Eye, 2005)
• The Last Tree (Secret Eye, 2006)
• Parplar (Young God Records, 2008)
• Larkin Grimm / Extra Life 12” (split single with Extra Life) (2011)
• Soul Retrieval (Bad Bitch Records, 2012)
• Chasing an Illusion (16 Jun. 2017)”“•♦••♦••♦••♦•”“________________________________”“•♦••♦••♦••♦•”“
|Larkin Grimm||Chasing an Illusion|