Wednesday, June 1, 2011
The Diving Bell on Fin Records
This single just in from a new label, (and by new this time I mean new to everyone) Fin Records out of Seattle, WA. A mere 4 months old, checking out the pics of the HQ, they hit the ground running. I'm assuming that's it's kind of Fin at the end of an Italian new wave subtitled movie, except this single marks the beginning of "The End".
It looks like they started off doing everything right, clear vinyl, weird cardstocks, exotic printing, even a heavyweight color paper sleeve? Money seems to be no object to these guys, and it's nice to see the lowly format get the royal treatment like this.
The Diving Bell (and the label itself) consists of guitars and vocals from Andy and Christian of Sister Psychic, who after checking out youtube, I do remember this Velvet Dog track from probably 120 minutes. They're joined by a couple different rotating members on the bass and drums on this single.
The A-Side, "Shooting Star, Falling" was written by Christian, his 13 year old daughter Hana and Christopher Freeman from Pansy Division. The main melody is based around a heavy tremolo electric guitar melody, the kind where you have to get that delay just right to sync up just right with the entire rhythm section. It's not a slow one and to get this to match up successfully for the length of the song is one of those engineering feats...or nightmares depending on how you look at it. The heavy percussion is a great balance to this ethereal airy guitar waves. The entire single is sparkling with that roomy super clean sound, capturing all the details of this performance.
At one point it sounds like the organ comes in in the same warm tremolo as the guitar during a refrain section. Andy has a casual vocal delivery that feels a bit like the lyric about a shooting star, falling...it's not some crazy violent, actual event, but a kind of abstract remembering, and indie folk song. Checkout an excerpt of this one from Fin Records facebook page.
The B-Side "Louisiana Highway" is a slow country psyche ballad, kicked off with a lonesome wavery organ melody, joined by an acoustic and heavy reverb electric. The Diving Bell sure is in love with airing out these big sounds, giving the melody room to wander around, the effects becoming as important as the notes. A falling backup vocal "ahh" along with this dreamy tempo and they're back reminiscing about that lazy afternoon sound of "Shooting...".
Lyrically they're down south, of course, and that highway isn't taking any prisoners, the devil is involved and Andy's deep vocals are way on top, reminding me of some of Mark Lannegan's solo album work:
"...buries his thoughts in an alligator (long pause) suitcase"....nice one...
This paper is that heavy stock wavy matte feel with silver embossed ink...pretty damn gorgeous, down to the offset label logo in the center vinyl label, and I even want to keep the press release they printed on heavy tan paper...it's moments like these I can relate to Patrick Bateman from American Psycho, getting caught up in the printing minutiae, the inks and weights.
Get this from Fin records, who are making me jealous.
Limited to 500 hand numbered copies, pressed on Beach Glass colored vinyl. Songs are "Shooting Star, Falling" and "Louisiana Highway." Produced and mixed by Martin Feveyear. Design by Asha Hossain.