Back in February, I posted about New Space, a fantastic collection of measured guitar buildups and stirring drones by homegrown guitar hero Ben Seretan ’10. The Duchampion alumnus recorded the record alone in a friend’s Greenpoint studio during the Superbowl. There was no bass or drums, because who needs bass and drums?
If you need bass and drums, Seretan writes in about In Two, an unsurprisingly stellar collaboration record between The Early, a Portland-based indie rock outfit, and himself. The album features more masterful six-string arpeggios, more emotionally fragile tales of driving cross-country and sleeping on porches—as well as full-band noise flare-ups (“Drive to Michigan”), feedback-laden spoken word (“All Dogs”), and muted guitar pop (“Onion Boy”). Lyrically, its themes include “dogs, Parsifal, stairs, driving around and listening to music, sleeping in places and on things, intimacy, earth cracking.” It’s also a good bit more song-driven and instrumentally varied than New Space, if that’s your thing.
As the album’s press release explains,
Ben Seretan & The Early is a collaboration between a Brooklyn based guitarist/singer and a Portland, Oregon based experimental rock band. In November 2011, we came together in Portland to compose and record songs that would synthesize each group’s aesthetic into a cohesive unified sound. In Two is the full-length album that resulted from our collaboration. We’ll be self-releasing the album on June 1st on Bandcamp. There will also be a limited edition run of 250 vinyl records.
Scroll on for a brief Q&A with Ben Seretan and a few BandCamp embeds.
How did you meet The Early?
I’ve known the Early for a while. Jake, the drummer from Duchampion, has played with them in various configurations since high school, and I had met each of them in different circumstances—Tim, who recorded this album, also engineered the Duchampion LP, for instance. So, though we’re definitely two distinct musical things, we’re all homies. We found it pretty easy to work together.
Where did you write all the music?
It was all written, recorded, and performed at a venue out there called Holocene in just under two weeks in November. The three members of the Early were all living in a house together out there and had a pretty nicely set up studio/rehearsal space in the garage adjoining the house. They have shows there and produce other records; they call it Badlands PDX.
What was it like working with The Early?
It never really felt like work—there was lots of hanging out, jamming on things, driving around Oregon, meeting people, and listening to records. It’s the very organic result of friends hanging out together with a really nice home studio in the garage.
Listen to In Two over at Bandcamp (the vinyl is $15, but the download is whatever price you choose) and check out Seretan’s New Space here. In the words of Chief Justice John Roberts, “I can’t make you download it, but I can sure as hell tax you if you don’t.”