is led by the ultra-talented Casey Dienel from Scituate, Massachusetts. She started off her career as a lush, whispery singer-songwriter in folk music, but ever since has moved constantly towards edgy electronica and spaced-out compositions. She also recorded an EP in French, and currently lives in lo-fi's Mecca: Portland, Oregon.
«Kairos» was released in 2010 on Dead Oceans.
I practically had K Records running on IV through my veins at the time. My friends hosted shows in the basement of their house in this crummy part of Boston near the art schools. Always it was freezing, and always we were drinking malt liquor. My friend Steve made me a mix-tape back then that had this song on it (along with a lot of Mirah), and it got stuck in the tape-deck of my car, so I listened to it every day until the car finally died on me.
That’s a hard thing to choose, though. It’s the part where John sings «half of what I say is meaningless…» it’s such a gutting thing to say.
Radiohead around the time that «Kid A» came out. I generally hate big festivals and shows that take place in stadiums where normally they race greyhounds. But Radiohead sounds very good in that broad scope. They filled the whole field with fuzzy noise and surprising dynamism and the sound was all-surrounding. I was very close up, too. I could see Thom Yorke’s nostrils and all the sweat beading off of Johnny Greenwood's forehead.
«Isis»: The song is a very good «fuck you!» sort of song, perfect when accompanied by a bit of liquid courage. Also, at the moment: «Single Ladies» by Beyonce. I love her so much.
Once we were aboard on this old run-down boat in Gowanus — a sort of industrial part of Brooklyn, and we were having some sort of late-summer-solstice show. Dave from Dirty Projectors sat down with a guitar, and at this point, the songs from «Rise Above» were just barely sketched. The version of this song he played was slow, drawn out, accompanied by some mellismatic classical guitar bits which made me feel like crying. It was a really beautiful moment. I hear that version now every time I hear that song.
I wanted to find it on vinyl, but it took a long time since the piece was never terribly popular. But it’s a gutsy piece for two pianos, a percussion ensemble, and some wonderful singers. It’s also been performed as a ballet, and tells the story of a bride and groom on their way to be wed. It has the air of desperation about it.
I first fell in love at a crowded party where «Fear Of Music» was playing. But I don’t think at the time I knew I was in love. I realized I was in love when he put on «Rubber Soul», particularly during «Michelle».
I remember listening to «Astral Weeks» in the summertime when I was about 3 or 4 years old. Our house then had a giant chestnut tree in the back, and you could smell the green chestnuts and hear the hum of our neighbor’s pool filter. We listened to «Tupelo Honey» a lot that summer, too—and I still assosciate Van Morrison with the smell of BBQ and charcoal briquettes. I was spinning around the house humming along to his music and pretending to play the piano. So my parents enrolled me into piano lessons when I was four years old, I think mostly to get me to stop. Because, you know, kids mostly hate practising an instrument. But I loved it. I was writing songs by the time I was 10. I didn’t thinnk there was anything special about that: some kids kept a diary, other kids drew pictures. I wrote songs.
One that I have written (however, not one I’ve written yet). I hope that doesn’t come across as narcissistic, but recently someone very close to me passed away, so I’ve thought about this quite a lot as of late. I hate most weddings and funerals. They’re never as fun as they should be, and I know that funerals aren’t traditionally supposed to be fun things, as there’s some pretty ghastly ways one can leave this world. But I would ask that mine be a celebration instead of a somber affair. I think the whole purpose of a funeral is to say «so long for now», and I’d like to have something to give to all of those who meant the most to me. I feel like a parting song would be the best kind of gift, nothing too morose or revealing – simple and plaintive. Perhaps it wouldn’t be a recording of me singing it – perhaps someone will sing it for me. Then immediately afterwards, I would have it stipulated that everyone break out the champagne and cake and go for a brisk swim in the Atlantic Ocean.
I was living in Paris for the first time, and it was unbearably hot, and everywhere I went this song seemed to be playing loudly over the speakers. At the «Fete de le Musique», the metro, different discos… Everything that summer was alight with possibility and innocence. That’s the best way to experience Paris for the first time, I think.
This song feels so universally heartbreaking to me – the way he sings just breaks me in half. «I’m your toy, I’m your old boy.» It’s such a perfect but beautiful line about that sort of senseless devotion one feels when they fall truly, madly, deeply... Also, the kind of resentment you feel once you realize that the other person has moved on from you.
I just found this record for $3 at the bins in Portland. What a steal! The production values laid down by Quincy Jones are just incredible! How can you not start dancing when this record comes on?
Everything about it is a bit murky – the piano is more condensed than much of what you’ll hear on other recordings, maybe it is slightly out of tune, too… The drums are sort of ragtag and when they finally bombard with the triplets and high hat at the end, it feels singularly triumphant! The cover of that record (the «Caracas» LP) is beautiful, one of my favorites. It has these incandescent line-drawings of all the major bridges in Portland. The song sounds mysterious and rainy, two words that well describe Portland. I’m not sure if I would describe it as an «anthem», but certainly, it captures well «my Portland».
I knew all of the words to «Waterfalls». My favorite was Left-Eye because she seemed so wild. R.I.P.
Pass. I’m sorry. I can’t think of anything. I’m not sure what my friends think of me.
I live in the dark ages, where my cell phone has no ring tones, it only buzzes like a little hummingbird.
Best on a rainy Sunday. I think I like Henry Flynt a lot on Sundays, too.
There’s so many. Recently, «Nude». It has a perfect melody, and I feel sad sometimes when I think that perhaps I will never make a song so beautiful as that. I’m also insanely jealous of «Hatari». She is my favorite songwriter. I also love her band Sister Suvi. To the death.