|Sore Eros & Kurt Vile — Jamaica Plain [EP] (2013)|
Sore Eros & Kurt Vile — Jamaica Plain [EP]
Location: Enfield, Connecticut ~ Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ~ Northampton, Maryland, U.S.
Album release: November 4, 2013 / Recorded: Boston, Massachussetts
Record Label: Care in the Community Recordings
01. Jamaica Plain (6:43)
02. Serum (3:07)
03. Calling Out Of Work (6:15)
◊ "Lo-fi psych artist Robert Robinson makes dreamy bedroom pop.
◊ From lo-fi roots and compulsive recording, this fuzzy Philly songwriter grew a huge body of strong and constantly evolving solo work.
Review by Fred Thomas; Score: ***½
◊ Philadelphia musicians Kurt Vile and Robert Robinson began collaborating long before they would rise to greater acclaim both individually and together, Robinson with his tape-hiss symphonies as Sore Eros and Vile as a dreamer of vivid, guitar-based indie rock daydreams with his much-lauded solo work. Robinson would accompany Vile as one of the Violators on tours, but in the early 2000s the two worked frequently on lo-fi home recordings that could at times boil down the best elements of their moody, often spaced-out musical personalities. Jamaica Plain is a short-running EP that collects some bright moments from these early collaborations, initially offered up years after their creation. Even though it's just three, mostly instrumental tunes, the material here is surprisingly in keeping with the best of each of its creators' respective work. "Jamaica Plain" opens up with remarkably lo-fi fidelity, and gently fingerpicked acoustic guitars flow into understated synths and dubbed-out interplay between live drums and the click of an ancient drum machine. The songs linger with the same patient twilight ambience as the best of the more acoustic side of the late-'90s post-rock scene, with slower tempos and gradually unfolding melodic shifts. "Serum" leaks out its lyrics in a single word per bar of its rhythm, rendering them a complete afterthought to the glowing one-chord meditation that the song becomes. The synth-heavy album closer "Calling Out of Work" sounds recorded directly to boom box, equally gentle, stoned, and drifty as the rest of the EP. Though it's by no means as fulfilling or well-thought-out as any of either player's full-length offerings, Jamaica Plain is a lovely, unexpectedly soft slice of the things that make both Vile and Sore Eros stand out, and its brief running time merits phases of repeat listening. The web of sounds here creates the same relaxing and breathable environments as Eno's most meditative work, just a far more lo-fi rendering of it.
Artist Biography by Jason Lymangrover
Formed: 2002 in Enfield, Connecticut
◊ Second Chants Prior to playing with Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Gary War, Kurt Vile, and Panda Bear, Robert Robinson made dreamy bedroom pop music on his own in Enfield, Connecticut. Bearing resemblance to a psychedelic cassette played on a broken boom box, his first self-titled Sore Eros CD-R was released on his independent label Light Dead Sea in 2003. Over the next few years, Robinson traveled around the country and collaborated with fellow lo-fi musicians before moving back to Connecticut in 2007 to assist his dad, who had recently suffered a heart attack. In his downtime, as his father made a full recovery, Robinson recorded Second Chants as a tribute to his dad's second chance at life. The album was released in 2009 on Shdwply Records. Sore Eros had a prolific release schedule over the next several years, issuing limited-run small-scale albums as well as efforts like Know Touching in 2010, Just Fuzz in 2011, and the Jamaica Plain 10" vinyl-only collaboration with Kurt Vile in 2013.
Artist Biography by Fred Thomas
◊ Philadelphia songwriter Kurt Vile was already recording himself at home by age 14, shortly after his bluegrass-loving father purchased him a banjo to encourage his youthful creativity. By age 17, Vile was self-releasing cassettes of his home recordings, which in the earliest days were strongly influenced by the raw slacker pop of the Drag City roster. He would continue to record prolifically, releasing cassettes and CD-Rs of his solo material while holding down a day job as a forklift operator.
◊ After a brief move to Boston, Vile returned to Philadelphia in 2003 and began collaborating with singer/guitarist Adam Granduciel, and by 2005 their duo the War on Drugs was morphing from its nebulous beginnings into a fully realized band, growing to include more members, release albums, and tour to critical acclaim and larger audience. ◊ By 2008 Vile was splitting his time between the War on Drugs and his solo material, with his album Constant Hitmaker seeing release around the same time as tWoD's breakthrough full-length, Wagonwheel Blues. As tWoD's fame grew, Vile decided to leave the band, predicting their increased profile and expansive touring schedule would ultimately waylay his solo career.
◊ Amicably parting with the band, but often still sharing members as backup musicians for his own shows, Vile concentrated on his own thing and released a steady stream of strong and increasingly more adoringly received albums. A 2009 reissue of Constant Hitmaker on the tastemaking Woodsist label got the ball rolling, and was followed shortly by God Is Saying This to You..., a collection of older tracks from CD-Rs as well as various EP releases. Childish Prodigy arrived in 2009 and marked Vile's most produced work to date. The lo-fi production and jagged drum machine rhythms of his earlier self-released fare were replaced in part by fuzzy live instrumentation and songwriting that leaned both on his Drag City-emulating roots as well as the influence of Dinosaur Jr.'s guitar tone wizardry and Bruce Springsteen's blue-collar rock sentiments. The record drew favorable press and respectable sales, and buzz grew for Vile as toured more.
◊ By 2011 he had signed to Matador for the release of his more subdued fourth full-length, Smoke Ring for My Halo. This was Vile's best-received work yet, charting on Billboard and meeting with across-the-board critical praise. Ever prolific, Vile released the So Outta Reach companion EP; appeared as a guest on his former band the War on Drugs' second album, Slave Ambient; and toured ceaselessly in the wake of his ever-growing success. A fifth album, Wakin on a Pretty Daze, was released in 2013. Shortly following this relatively polished and well-produced release, the Jamaica Plain EP surfaced, a vinyl-only 10" release of early 2000's collaborative recordings by Vile and Sore Eros.
MySpace: https://myspace.com/soreeros / Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sore-Eros/63085215837
By Mike Olinger; October 29, 2013
◊ Kurt Vile & Sore Eros’ new EP, Jamaica Plain, takes its name from the Boston town in Massachusetts, where it was recorded, referred to in the 19th century as “the Eden of America.”
◊ Though the EP is basically a sound collage, it is built on solid foundation of analog production that is naturally warm and evocative, hissing its way through the charming three song set. The abstract landscapes live and breathe within the six-minute experiments, somehow managing to make sense with the abrupt edits and naïve singing only enhancing its non-linear esthetic.
◊ The boys have given the album their own ‘heady’ explanation, contextualizing it by the certain geographical references in the lyrics. The title tracks melancholy twang reflects the earthy expanse of that particular part of America, while the glowing mellotrons on “Serum” wash around in the dreary tones of the Midwest. The final song “Calling Out To Work” is possibly the most down to earth recording here, with the pulsing synths finally giving way to a predictable wave of feedback.
◊ This is definitely an avant-garde record that is in no rush to prove itself. It is refreshing to meander through the songs without any clear lines to cling onto or boxes to fit it in. The intention behind Jamaica Plain was to capture a place and time and Kurt Vile & Sore Eros have certainly succeeded in transferring that energy to tape. Fortaken: http://www.adequacy.net/2013/10/kurt-vile-sore-eros-jamaican-plains-ep/ // Also: http://www.contactmusic.com/press/kurt-vile-and-sore-eros-announce-jamaica-plain-ep
|Sore Eros & Kurt Vile — Jamaica Plain [EP] (2013)|