We kept returning to it and polishing, rethinking, redoing. It was always close to our thoughts, close to the center of our efforts. Self-imposed deadline after self-imposed deadline drifted past, like cigar smoke seen wafting by a street lamp. In 2013, while I was in New Mexico, Chris and Ben toiled on the thing all summer. In July 2014 we scrapped everything we had on "Litany"—untold hours of work—and recorded a new version, live, singing and playing all together with a few mics. From that session we created the version you'll hear on Axle. A week or so later, Ben moved to North Carolina. Chris and I flew down there in March, this past March 2015. We finished the mixing. The last thing we recorded, I think, is my Rhodes solo on "23 (Anton)." Ben did the mastering. We passed versions to & fro until we were finally able to agree on everything—that was in May. Then we sent it off for pressing.
This is the product of a LOT of effort by the three of us, a LOT of conversations, a LOT of rehearsals and workshopping, a LOT—a LOT— of recording and mixing sessions. It's a whole chapter in 41 minutes. We've been promising this thing at our gigs since 2012. We couldn't be more excited to finally be able to share it with you.
Axle is available on CD and digital download next Tuesday, July 7th, via Two Labyrinths Records. You can pre-order now at grantwallaceband.bandcamp.com.
Between you and me—go with the CD. I hear Apple started a streaming music service today. When I stream something, I'm guaranteed to forget about it. When I buy a digital album, I listen to it for a while until it disappears into the folds of my iTunes library. When I buy the CD, I live with the music. When I buy the physical media—which sounds better anyway—I develop a relationship with the music. Please buy the CD. Please buy other CDs and LPs by other musicians you love. It's just so much better for everyone. You get a real document of the musical effort that you can hold in your hands. The musician gets the assurance that you care about that effort. Now that basically everyone is outside the major label system, it's never been easier to directly compensate your favorite musicians for the work they do that you love. Did I mention that Axle looks gorgeous? Our guy Alex Mitchell did brand-new art, and Emily Howe did the album design. This thing looks great and feels great and it wants to live in your house, entertain you, inspire you, possibly creep you out a little bit. Give it a swing, eh?
Many thanks to all of you who have been part of the journey these past four years. The road winds on.
10 Best of 2014
January: Wyoming and the Open
February: New Mexico and the Holes
Notes on The Accounts