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Brazos Announces New Album Saltwater Out May 28

posted February 21, 2013, 9:41 pm by Himmelrick | Filed Under General Interest, Music News, Releases, Tour, Video | comment Leave a Comment

Tags: Brazos

Brazos has announced they will release their second full-length, Saltwater, May 28, 2013 on Dead Oceans. Saltwater will be the band’s first release for the label. The first single, “How the Ranks Was Won” premiered today with a video on SPIN.

Created in a single weekend by Brazos frontman Martin Crane and some handy friends, the video is an eclectic mix of images that introduce Brazos as a concept and illustrate the song’s narrative. Crane explains, “‘How the Ranks Was Won’ is about a kid who finds the empty ship his ancestors came over on which is now a ghost ship. He boards it, and takes it back. It’s about taking charge of your memory and your past. I thought it would be funny to do that in modern life. In the video I get a text message from a memory (or maybe my cell phone is secretly trying to control me?), it consumes me, I ride the dreamworld, I come back, then the dreamworld rides me.”

Akin to Dylan’s video for “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” Crane uses text to highlight the deeper meaning(s) in the song. “It’s the first time I’ve ever made any kind of video/film/moving image, and I wanted to make something so saturated with messages that the viewer has to decide which message to pay attention to. I like the idea that it can be unpacked in slow motion. In this way it is interactive – you can explore it.” The use of Emoji mixed with Crane’s hand-pained signs “symbolize the uneasy relationship I myself have between the internet and my own warmth,” but, he continues, “All this pontification aside, I think this video is really fun, mostly. 2 alligators and 2 babies in a 4 way kiss. Emoji faces in the sky. A cat that cries its body. Me fainting from a text message. A face made of an ice cream cone. It’s silly.”

Brazos’ new album, Saltwater, however, is far from silly. After returning home to Austin from touring on 2009’s self-released Phosphorescent Blues, Crane found himself at a creative dead end. “Most of my good friends had moved away. I was working at a phone bank and I was hanging out in bars a lot. I’d lost touch with the meaningful things.” Over a two year period, he wrote 30-odd songs which were then narrowed down to the ones on Saltwater. As a result, Crane says, “I think this record is about learning how to be alone. It’s an odyssey out into deep solitude in order to really get a grasp of myself. And I think that’s how it’s spiritual. You can’t actually love anything if you need it.”

Eventually, Crane packed everything he owned into a 1990 Honda Civic station wagon and moved to New York. Once settled, he partnered with Spencer Zahn on bass (Empress Of, Father Figures) and Ian Chang on drums (Matthew Dear, Body Language) to record the basic tracks for Saltwater in a matter of days. Over several months, Martin layered piano, synths and guitars over the tracks, which were then mixed by Sandro Perri. The result is an album that is sharp and bright, full of buoyant, expansive pop, crafted by an exceptionally steady and talented hand.

This year Brazos will return to Austin to play at SXSW, preceded by a show in NYC at Mercury Lounge on Friday, Feburary 22. All dates are listed below.

Saltwater Track Listing:
Always On
How the Ranks Was Won
One Note Pillow
Deeper Feelings
Long Shot

02/22/13 – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
03/13/13 – Austin, TX – SXSW
03/14/13 – Austin, TX – SXSW
03/15/13 – Austin, TX – SXSW
03/16/13 – Austin, TX – SXSW
04/16/13 – Brooklyn, NY – Cameo Gallery*
04/23/13 – Brooklyn, NY – Cameo Gallery*
04/30/13 – Brooklyn, NY – Cameo Gallery*
05/07/13 – Brooklyn, NY – Cameo Gallery*

* = Residency


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