|Thalia Zedek Band — Via (2013)|
Thalia Zedek Band ≡ Via
Location: Lower Allston ~ Boston, Massachusetts, US
Genre/Style: neo-psychedelik chamber folkrock
Album release: March 19, 2013
Record Label: Thrill Jockey Records
01. Walk Away 5:12
02. Winning Hand 6:14
03. Get Away 5:17
04. He Said 3:25
05. In This World 3:57
06. Straight And Strong 5:12
07. Go Home 3:46
08. Lucky One 6:48
09. Want You To Know 8:21
Lyrics by Thalia Zedek
© 2013 thaliazedekpublishing BMI
Thrill Jockey artist page: http://www.thrilljockey.com/thrill/Thalia-Zedek/
√ “One of the strongest vocalists and most pronounced creative presences in music.” - Harp Magazine
√ “Since 1981, Boston-based singer-songwriter-guitarist Thalia Zedek has been making excrutiatingly emotional rock music... Nothing draws as much blood as the work of this songwriter, one of the most painfully honest and brilliant anywhere.” -- Time Out New York
¶ Thalia Zedek might be entering the fourth decade of her career as one of the most singular voices in rock, but she shows no signs of creative fatigue. Throughout the 80s she rose to prominence fronting Uzi and Live Skull, before founding Come with Chris Brokaw of Codeine in 1990. Come’s classic first album, Eleven : Eleven is being reissued by Matador in May, it’s 21st anniversary. It will serve to cement Zedek’s position as a bandleader, a songwriter, and as a pioneer who, like Kim Gordon, Kim Deal, Lydia Lunch, and Patti Smith, paved the way for so many others. After Come called it a day in 2001, Zedek began making music under her own name to high acclaim. Upon the release of her last album, 2008’s Liars and Prayers, Time Out New York proclaimed, “Nothing draws as much blood as the work of this songwriter, one of the most painfully honest and brilliant anywhere.”
¶ On Via, Zedek presents a collection of songs that range from the harrowing to the heartfelt. ¶ The opener “Walk Away” is a triumphantly melancholic exploration of living with ghosts, with Zedek’s richly emotive voice augmented by David Michael Curry’s gravelly viola and Mel Lederman’s measured piano. Via also features some of Zedek’s noisiest material in some time. Halfway through “Want You To Know,” Zedek’s guitar erupts into a wash of fuzz, foreshadowing the climax of pounding drums and psychedelic soloing. Via is an album about recovery, loyalty, chance, and gratitude: universal themes that become stirring in Zedek’s hands.
¶ The album was written during two distinct sessions over the course of four years. The first set of songs was written during the period of touring after the release of Liars and Prayers with longtime drummer Daniel Coughlin, who was also in Come. After Coughlin’s departure from the band, Zedek recruited Son Volt drummer Dave Bryson, who’s simple, spacious playing allowed her to stretch and experiment with new sounds and ideas. It was recorded by Andrew Schneider at New Alliance and Translator Audio in June and September of 2012. Via has a gravitational field, a magnetic pull brought on by the weight of the words and the mass of the sounds created. ¶ Regardless of her status as a pioneering woman in independent rock, Thalia Zedek’s music stands on its own in its startling honesty.
Thalia Zedek Band hits a brighter note with ‘Via’
By Matt Parish | Globe Correspondent February 28, 2013
¶ The albums of gruff-voiced Boston balladeer Thalia Zedek tend to creep out into the light at a pace even slower than her lived-in songs. This unhurried time frame is no detriment; if anything, allowing the turmoil and rage that churns in her music to age a bit is likely the key to how rich and considered her solo works over the last decade have turned out. The end run to this month’s new “Via” (Thrill Jockey), though, was a bit different, spurred on by major moves — and barely escaping last fall’s devastating hurricane.
¶ Zedek had hit a relaxed stride to her career by the time her first solo album came out in 2001. ¶ Since she’d moved to Boston in 1979 as a teenager, she’d bounced between a string of ferocious art-punk bands like White Women and Uzi before landing a spot as lead singer with the New York band Live Skull, and most notably in 1990, forming one-of-a-kind guitar band Come, which released four albums in a little over a decade. By comparison, her solo career has eased out an album every four years or so.
¶ Last summer, though, when Zedek’s drummer Daniel Coughlin announced a move to Buenos Aires, the band leapt to action to make sure they had a document of what had been a fruitful phase of writing. They recorded with longtime Boston scene linchpin Andrew Schneider, who was just finishing work on his brand-new studio in Brooklyn, Translator Audio. A week after Zedek finished the very last line of vocal overdubs, Hurricane Sandy destroyed the entire studio. The record made it out, though (benefits continue for Schneider’s studio, including one at the Middle East last weekend). This Monday, Zedek kicks off a weekly series at T.T. the Bear’s to celebrate the new record’s release, performing music from a different one of her four solo albums each week.
¶ “I remember that last trip I took to Andrew’s studio,” Zedek says. “He was talking all about how he couldn’t believe how it was finally coming together exactly the way he wanted, how he’d never thought it would happen. And then it was gone.”
¶ Bad vibes have been a natural part of Zedek’s career. Come, which she formed with Chris Brokaw from “slow-core” pioneers Codeine, lasted 10 years and held a unique sway over the indie rock scene of the time. They were lowdown noisy grunge, creaky blues rock, and had an ice-cold sense of melodic interplay, partly retained from Codeine, and partly slaked off of Zedek’s grimly howling vocals. Zedek relived landscapes of pain, regret, and loss through those songs, and built a reputation as one of indie rock’s most psychologically ravaged voices.
¶ When Come broke up and Zedek started her solo career, that morose mystique followed her into her first album, 2001’s “Been Here and Gone.” But she’d turned a corner. No longer gunning for the doom and fear she’d been charting through the ’90s, Zedek began experimenting with old torch songs and the mellower tones of the piano and viola, and her lyrics eased toward reconciliation and acceptance. Musically, her work started to feel like well-worn boots, similar to the transformation Nick Cave underwent on the way from crazed Birthday Party frontman to “Boatman’s Call”-era hushed troubadour.
¶ Violist David Michael Curry had just begun learning to play the viola when he joined Zedek during the recording of the first album. “I had some anxiety about it because of the huge respect I had for Come,” he says. “And I suffered through self-confidence issues in those days. But what I did with viola was nontraditional and it worked more with coloring and experimentation.” The new route was set — Zedek would approach her work as the songs’ only real author, but with room for everyone to grow into them.
¶ And so the roiling piano of Mel Lederman was free to roam below the surface along with the seasick drumming of Daniel Coughlin (the band is now rounded out by drummer Dave Norton and bassist Winston Braman).
¶ Going back to relearn the past material, which has evolved freely from album to album, Zedek says it wasn’t close to the shock of going back to older Come albums when that band performed a brief reunion in 2010. “I feel a lot more connected with this stuff,” she says. “I actually still know this person, whereas with the older stuff I just have no idea.”
¶ When the band added Coughlin (of Son Volt) for this new batch of songs, they found themselves hitting with a livelier punch than anything in recent memory. It’s not a total about-face — “Winning Hand” is as stoic a song as Zedek’s ever recorded — but “Via” is full of concise guitar solo breaks, chunky drumming, and a sense of broad-stroked experimentation that previous efforts rarely touched. It feels more wide-awake than most anything longtime fans would associate with a star who, for the better part of her career, struck a permanently brooding pose.
¶ It may take some time to sink in, though.
¶ “It’s already started with the reviews,” says Zedek. “It’s the same ‘angst, agony, and anguish’ bit. I think, ‘What are you listening to?’ ”
¶ Saturday night brings to the Lily Pad not only the first in a monthly series of shows from the sprawling imaginations of the Bodies of Water Arts and Crafts/Boston Hassle crew — dubbed “Hassle Night” — but also a release party for deep psych explorers Herbcraft. The excellent Portland, Maine, collective has made a second home in Boston over recent years and this release, on revered New England freak-folk label Woodsist, will be cause for much bearded, be-flanneled celebration. . . . March 5 at Great Scott, Boston's electro-pop prince Andre Obin releases his churning new album, “The Arsonist” (courtesy of New York label Sky Council). It’s the first full-length of an already promising career that’s seen Obin hit the road with M83 and partner with taste-making labels from Brooklyn to the Netherlands. His hometown party is set to bring along essential Boston pop group Stereo Telescope, the swirling dance collage work of AVOXBLUE, and DJ Leah V. . . . March 11 brings the most laid-back (no cover!) rock standby in town, the weekly “Night of the Living Deadhead” at Zuzu. This night features the mood-swinging guitar pop of Radio Astronomer and the lush, confessional songs of All Eyes Are on Me Now, fresh off a record release of their own back in February.
Matt Parish can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did you ever wake up to find,
what you thought that you had lost was right
where you left it last
the future cannot change the past
And when you come back to someone that you love
And they’re no longer there, you don’t even care
There’s a lusty ghost who hovers in their space
But you still see a trace
You don’t have to stay
That is what you always say
And the truth will set you free
Don’t tell me that you lied to me
Because when I come back to
Someone that I love
I don’t even care
If they’re no longer there
What matters most is that their holy ghost
Still holds my face, in hands that I have traced
I can see the trace,
Of where you walked away, when you went away
Did you ever uncover the other
who was attempting to block your path?
with warnings of the future
divined solely from the past.
Did you ever wish on an illusion?
A mirror image so cold and flat?
A lucky dye or a lucky roller
One card short of a winning hand
Where I wanted to be by now
Is not this place though I have come far
To stand at the edge of the sea what now?
And what I wanted to say feels so far from my mouth now
You were the one I saw under the water
You were the one I saw in the sun
You were the one behind the mirror
Never close enough to touch
Autumn leaves that turn into flowers
Waves that crash and churn into drums
Songs that roll like locomotives
Drowning out the fearful one
What I wanted to say right now
so far away from my teeth and mouth
And where I wanted to be by now
Is not this place but I can see how
I’ll get there somehow
How do you get away with all the things you say?
I’ve seen it all before,
you never shut the door completely,
all you need is a crack
to leave the past intact,
and start it all again just like it never ends,
All you want is more and more
And all you need is behind the door
Just a crack to let it in
Just a crack and it will begin
Well everybody’s got something to say
but they’d better know their place and let those who sin
And now it’s all too much, you say you’ve had enough,
I’ve heard it all before, you still go back for more
but this time it is a different time,
this time it feels like such a crime,
to throw it all away after the price you’ve paid.
Suck it up, hold it in,
Hold on tight, reel it in,
Through the crack that you left just in case you had any regrets,
Was it something someone said?
Was it someone who was dead who was your friend?
Haul it up, reel it in
Hold on tight and begin,
To rewind to a time when your life was less unkind,
before something that was dead became reborn inside your head.
Was it something someone said?
Was it something someone did who was your friend?
In my mind, are all the reasons he said,
I’m leaving, but I’m not moving too fast,
After all these years, I had expected some tears he said.
After all that I’ve done and everything that’s been sung,
do you really need to hear?
It was a sad day, but not such a bad way to go,
You said goodbye, and I said fine and I let go.
After all these years, I couldn’t let you near for fear,
It was all for the best, and you were one of the best I hear, my dear…
IN THIS WORLD
Won’t you help me?
And heal your body?
Won’t you give me, some kind of sign?
Cause I’ve been waiting for your saving,
And I can’t help it if I get tired.
It’s been so long now, since you’ve been strong,
And everybody wants you to try,
I’m just waiting for your saving,
can you help me to pass the time?
Cause everybody wants the same thing,
and it’s not easy to get up again when you fall.
You’ve got to crawl.
If you’re not with me then your against me
Why can’t you see any other side?
There’s some good guys, and there’s some bad girls,
And in-between lies, everyone else,
And there’s nobody who stands completely,
Alone in this world so make sure that you choose well,
Can you tell? Choose well
And you’re flying your flag so high,
And you’re high as a kite,
All through the night, and the rocket strikes,
And you know that you could die,
And you know that you have to try,
No one will save you,
If you disobey you can never go home again,
come celebrate here, with all your friends.
Now is the time,
there’s no other time,
cross the line.
Your friend’s are beside you in death as in life,
cross the line
|Thalia Zedek Band — Via (2013)|