I’ve only listened two times through to John Vanderslice’s upcoming album, Romanian Names, but am really enjoying it so far. I like the direction he’s taking his music, and appreciate how it’s lighter and more upbeat than past albums. The instrumentation and vocals are really crisp and bring to mind Pixel Revolt (2005), which is still my favorite Vanderslice album (I’ve been hated on for liking it more than Cellar Door (2004), but I’ve come to terms with that.)
This album definitely has more folk influence than his previous albums. When I was playing “C & O Canal,” which is my favorite track on the album right now, one of my friends walked in and thought it was Sufjan Stevens… a comparison I can definitely see. This transition probably occurred after Vanderslice decided to take a minimalist approach and construct the melodies of his songs in a basement studio in his home, as opposed to his recording studio, Tiny Telephone.
Other tracks I’m really diggingÂ right now include “Too Much Time,””Sunken Union Boat,” and the title track, “Romanian Names.”
John Vanderslice is from San Francisco, and has been performing with his own band ever since breaking up with mk Utlra in 1999. He has his own record studio in San Francisco called Tiny Telephone, where he not only records his own albums, but produces albums for other artists, such as Spoon’s Gimme Fiction. Some other bands that have recorded there include: Beulah, Death Cab, Deerhoof, Mates of State, and the Mountain Goats, who John has done a lot of collaboration with. Romanian Names will be released on May 19th (18th in the U.K.). JV is going on a huge U.S. tour to support the release, and I highly recommend you see him live if you have the chance…he’s great (dates after jump).
Romanian Names (2009):
Emerald City (2007):
Pixel Revolt (2005):
John Vanderslice – Exodus Damage (Highly recommended)
Cellar Door (2004):
Life and Death of An American Fourtracker (2002):