with  DANA WACHS of

Dana Wachs photo from Brooklyn Vegan by Amanda Hatfield. With thanks.

“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest categorises themselves as “sound reinforcement”, “composer”, “creative music consultant” and “production management” and in her work as Vorhees, she’s also a haunting raconteur and auteur, armed with keyboards, a poetic turn of phrase and an incisive nature. Recently touring with Belle & Sebastian and Deerhunter, I managed to interrupt her mid-tourbus…but I’m glad we’ve got her on VS, it’s the ace Dana Wachs!

Dana Wachs photo courtesy of Eugene Hutz

As well as the action photo, Dana also offered me the above dramatic effort, which she described thus:

“Or for something more casual  (I just like the photo…I’m not religious or anything ha!)”

Here’s some Vorhees music/soundscapes/nuggets from the Soundcloud crates for your listening pleasure:

Dana has a new Vorhees EP coming out on February 24th. It’s called “Black Horse Pike” and it’s fantastic. Largely autobiographical, it’s about Dana’s “memories of teenage meanderings in New Jersey’s suburban doldrums” and according to the Soundcloud blurb “and the impossible waking (un) reality of her insomniac tendencies throughout the world in ever changing hotel rooms and tour bus bunks” which is where I caught up with her!

So without further ado, it’s over to Dana to pick up the tale and choose her “song for ewe”…(one of my favourite ever choices)

“Hi Nick.

I received your request as I was attempting to catch up on sleep, having just settled into my bunk on Deerhunter’s tour bus (I’m out doing sound for them on their current run).  

Have you ever tried to nap in a tour bus bunk?  It’s a difficult task to shut out the constant activity of the world past the heavy plastic curtain one draws to provide the sole chance of privacy and rest.  

Besides various teas and supplements, and clumsy attempts at aromatherapy, I can usually manage a couple winks with certain musical accompaniment, including this intriguing Alice Coltrane album “Turiya Sings”.  

I’m not sure where it ranks on the obscure-o-meter, but it’s definitely a step in a different direction for her.  She eschews her usual harp frills and dense orchestrations for a consistent 80’s synth pad drone, using dramatic octave sweeps and complex harmonic counterparts to emphasize her gentle chanting, bathed in a think roomy reverb.  Occasionally, I hear what could have influenced Angelo Badalamenti, or perhaps a Korka Pandit outtake, run through a slow running tape machine.  

Over all, it’s magic and takes me away from wherever I am.  Also recommended for subduing public transport woes and TSA security lines.”