2017Jaye Bartell w/ Aunt Sis
NovemberDoors 8:30, Show 9:30 - $8
Jaye Bartell's songs are poetic yet candid and unafraid, formal but also spontaneous. His lyrics leap and land like dancers and are alive. It may not be apparent at first, but Bartell’s songs are exultations that revel in the often unsteady but always moving life, filled with subtle humor and sincere love. Like the epic panorama on the album’s cover by artist Ursula Gullow, Bartell’s songs push out from the fissure between asphalt and clouds – car crashes and kissing, great gulls and stray dogs, friends and enemies, love and hate, all braided, each defining the other. In a Time of Trouble finds Bartell working with expanded instrumentation and more sonic color. Here his vocals have been honed, hardened, and thoughtfully tempered. There is sureness in his delivery, a paradoxical feeling that nothing is urgent despite the grave urgency of a song’s subject matter. In a time of trouble, a wild exultation…
After a full U.S. tour with Kevin Morby in 2016 and a solo tour in Italy in 2017, Bartell returned to his former home of Asheville, NC for a three-week recording session in April 2017. The timing could not have been better, as nearly all of his musician allies from recordings past were either in town or passing through – his longtime and ongoing collaborator, guitar artist Shane Parish (Ahleuchatistas); multi-instrumentalist Michael Libramento; songwriter, singer, and musician Angel Olsen; J Seger and Emily Easterly, who played on 2015's Loyalty; percussion marvel Ryan Oslance (Ahleuchatistas); and singer Noel Thrasher. All was brought together by producer and engineer Adam McDaniel at his Drop of Sun Studios in West Asheville, where he and Bartell worked to capture the mostly live performances, experimenting with recording techniques and improvised instruments like an open window with chimes and springtime birds or a deconstructed music box, winding the tune “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” backwards.
Bartell's third album for Sinderlyn is a record in the full meaning of the word – of sounds, of friendships new and old, of songs that compel repeated listens and that deepen and grow richer each time. Stay with these songs, and they will stay with you.
If you listen to to Aunt Sis’ 2016 album These People on Sorry Records, you’ll hear entrancing, revolving riffs built on kind of that circular neo-American Primitive finger-picking style, which is the core that drives many of their songs. It’s not something they hit you over the head with as it’s sublimated within the context of an indie pop quartet, but it’s there and it’s what differentiates Aunt Sis from others, giving them a swell flow. Neither do they attempt to dose you with capital P psychedelia, but there’s a definite undefined element of transcendence floating about Aunt Sis songs.
Aunt Sis can also change it up and strip it down to bare bones plaints which can take you in and out of your late night mind.
Regardless, chances are, if you see Aunt Sis in concert, you’ll end up dancing mostly, and maybe welling up inside occasionally, even if you weren’t planning on it.