“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 is usually one half of the rhythm section and a founder member of US uber-group The National along with his brother Bryan Devendorf, and together they’re also in the band LNZNDRF teaming up with Benjamin Lanz (a touring member of The National and in the band Beirut) and Aaron Arntz (also of Beirut and a player with the equally excellent Grizzly Bear).
LNZNDRF have a second album out, neatly called II and it’s a widescreen affair that sweeps the desert, swims the ocean, spans the cosmos and reaches for the stars. The expansive recording sessions at Austin’s Public HiFi in September 2019 that they called “shamanistic” definitely feel transcendent, other worldly and hypnotic like the very best of Mercury Rev or The Flaming Lips as recorded by Holger Czukay at Inner Space in the 70s. And in its own way 2019 now feels as mystically distant as those cinematic times in Cologne.
I’ve been a fan of The National for a long time, and LNZNDRF’s first was memorable too, so it’s a thrill to say the least to get onto these pages and welcome the intense musical bass/synth powerhouse and indie eminence gris Scott Devendorf!
But before his sonically satisfying song choice, brace yourself for this from LNZNDRF…shot at home (as is the modern way) and directed by the band’s Benjamin Lanz.
Given the broad musical palette of II by LNZNDRF I awaited Scott’s song choice with inquisitive and eager anticipation, and I was not disappointed. It’s artful and symphonic, with precision and poise reminiscent of the extended rippling workout at the portentous outset of II‘s opener “The Xeric Steppe”…so without further ado, it’s over to Scott and his “song for ewe”…
“Jordan de la Sierra’s Music for Devotional Past features on Gymnosphere: Song of the Rose (1977), alongside three other long-form, 25-minute plus solo piano meditations. The album was recorded live by Stephen Hill in Berkeley’s Arch Studio over several hours, then sonically projected into the cavernous Grace Cathedral of San Francisco.
De la Sierra’s “well tuned” natural notes reverberate, refract and phase off the cathedral’s walls with a pointillistic, haunting pulse, all expertly recaptured by Stephen Hill, Robert Orban and de la Sierra. It’s music to lose track of time within, bathed in its ethereal echos and patterns. As de la Sierra writes in the record’s dedication, it’s “Music from the Hearts of Space”.
THANKS TO SCOTT DEVENDORF AND TO SARAH LOWE AT FIFTH AVENUE PR
LNZNDRF “II” is out now