Monday, October 22, 2007

A beautiful new voice arrives on the national scene in the form of Kate Tucker. New album with The Sons of Sweden out soon.

Kate Tucker & The Sons of Sweden plays a brand of melodic indie pop that springs from a melancholy hope. On her self-titled debut, Tucker sings stories of loves, lost hours, inevitable ends, and broken towers. The songs alternate between night-blue longing and emerald sparkle, borne on the wings of Tucker's haltingly rich voice. One of the album’s featured tracks, “Faster Than Cars” (MP3) has ended up on repeat for just about anyone that has heard it. Tucker’s self-titled debut was recorded and produced by Ryan Hadlock (Blonde Redhead, The Gossip, Holy Ghost Revival, The Octopus Project) at Bear Creek Studio and features guest vocals by Seattle folk luminary Damien Jurado. This is the first collaboration between Kate and the Swedes.

The roots of it all began in Ohio with Kate and her acoustic guitar, and then a long drive west. The story goes that Tucker ventured out to Seattle, where she found the band wandering among the old Swedes of Ballard. And so Midwest folk met Northwest indie, finding that the same themes shine through the occasional grey: isolation, hope, transition, communion, green fields, blue skies, and empty hands.

What happened with the music was quite a surprise for all of them, as they all came into the circle with previous experience and inclinations. In 2006, Tucker had released a solo EP, Eros Turannos, working with Nic Danielson and Ryan Hadlock on the arrangements. By the time the Sons of Sweden were in effect, Danielson and Tucker had already become accustomed to long hours in Nic’s bedroom amongst sound machines, wires, and bottles. Tucker’s new songs were surer of themselves structurally and Danielson had built an arsenal of samples and strange sounds to flesh them out. Bringing the Sons of Sweden into the arrangement process added a fresh pop driven perspective that anchored Tucker's inclination toward ethereal wanderings.

On the debut, Cameron Herrington’s steady understated groove compliments Tucker's folk-influenced picking patterns, and Mark Isakson provides texture on shimmering Tele’s, sustained ad infinitum with an army of delays. Add Nic Danielson's obsession with the Cocteau Twins and Air, and you have a lushly layered record of bright melodies, which running through even the minor keyed tracks.

The band lists influences as diverse as The Police and Sonic Youth and Tucker's vocals recall Beth Orton and Neko Case. What they take from such artists is the idea of big sound and an attempt to create dramatic compositions in big rooms with small means: that is, five people in a barn in rural Washington.

This debut album is a confident start for Tucker and her band, and they offer a promising future. Though they may be currently veiled in the mists of the emerald city, the Sons of Sweden are on the rise and shining through.

Some Fun Facts About Kate Tucker & The Sons of Sweden:
Tucker was born in a barn in Ohio and that's how she chose to record at Bear Creek which is also a barn.
Kate was sick with typhoid fever during the recording of the new album.
BJ Myers, Cameron Herrington, and Mark Isakson live together in sunny Ballard, Washington. (Tucker has a key.)
Cameron Herrington's grandfather was named Ole Johnson.
Mark Isakson and Cameron Herrington are the only true Swedes. Danielson's status remains up in the air.
Kate's previous EP, Eros Turannos, was featured in Starbucks stores nationwide for the duration of 2006. Likewise, more than half-a-dozen tracks from her latest album will be featured in Starbucks stores.
Damien Jurado joined Kate on vocals on “In the End.” This meant a lot to Kate who had been great admirer of Damien's work since, while in high school, she saw him play a show on Kent State's campus. There she heard him sing “Ohio” which she now counts as one of her all-time favorite songs.

Kate Tucker & The Sons of Sweden Live:
11/04 Seattle, WA Sunset Tavern

Kate Tucker & The Sons of Sweden Tracklisting:
Release Date: October 30, 2007

01. The Hours
02. Faster Than Cars (MP3)
03. Saturday Night
04. In Your Dreams
05. The Way You Went
06. Maybe A Pirate Stole Her Soul
07. Everything Went Down
08. On The Radio
09. The First Day of The Year
10. In The End

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Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

wow! great voice and cool sounding band. Can't wait to see what else comes from them!