I’m excited to announce that an EP I worked on earlier this year with a group of great musicians is being released today. It’s called ‘Bend When The Sun Moves’ and our band is Vanessa Kafka & the Sunday Spins. The EP is available on iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify — and you can search for it on Pandora as well. There are also previews of the songs on Amazon.
Here’s the album cover, designed by Neil Walton in the UK:
I got involved with the project after becoming good friends with Vanessa while studying at Sloan. She was a classmate of mine, and we first played music together as part of the Rolling Sloans, a Sloan cover band that’s been in existence in some form or another since at least the 80’s (albeit sometimes temporarily dormant).
Vanessa’s been an active songwriter for a number of years, and previously released ‘Into Place’ in 2008 and ‘From the Backroom’ in 2005. Both of her prior recordings are absolutely worth a listen. Sometime in late 2011 I began playing the lead guitar with her band, featuring Matt Beals on bass and Aaron Pearsall on drums. It was a lot of fun to play music in a band again, especially when someone as talented as Vanessa was writing great songs for us to play.
Around the start of 2012 we decided we’d head to the studio to record a number of songs that Vanessa had written and the band had arranged. We successfully used Kickstarter to crowd-source the funding for the project, which turned out to be an amazing resource. In the late spring we went up to Thundering Sky Studios in Maine to lay down the songs, and then we spent the summer and fall mixing and mastering the recordings to prep them for release.
I couldn’t be happier with the way the sessions turned out, and I have a lot of people to thank for supporting the project. First off, it was an unbelievable experience working with Vanessa, Matt, and Aaron throughout the entire process. They’re all great musicians, and I definitely became a much better guitar player through my experiences working with each of them. Our engineer John Coretto was thoughtful, patient, and creative — and he definitely played the role of producer every now and then too. He was a great devil’s advocate and helped ensure we kept our momentum throughout the process. Also, the recordings wouldn’t be what they are without Thomas Thorndike’s piano work and Brice Derr’s beautiful pedal steel playing. We brought both of them in as studio musicians, and they were absolute professionals.
I of course want to thank my parents, Nina and Steve, for supporting my guitar playing over the years and also for supporting this particular project on Kickstarter. My girlfriend, Laura, was also supportive and provided some great ideas in the mixing sessions that made their way into the final recordings.
At the risk of missing someone, I also want to thank all of my friends, family, and colleagues who supported the project on Kickstarter: Adam Bujdoso, Adam Peck, Alex Geertz, Alice Hartley, Ben Kornstein, Betty Antebi, Bibo Xu, Cesar Torres, Chuck Frantz, Charlotte Rocker, Christina Williams, Colin Whooten, Cressida Pollock, Dan Siegel, Daniel Kornstein, Dan Munroe, David Franco, Doug Hwang, Ed Hallen, Eddie Liu, Esther Merritt, Eugene Feldman, Iggy Chen, Jim Gabriel, Jeff Zira, Jamie Fordyce, Jane Chipman, John DeTore, Jordanna Schultz, Julie Lein, Kevin Nolan, Luis Santiago, Mark Martello, Mary Belle and Spencer Gentry, Maryanna McConnell, Matt Lieber, Max Jahn, Mayank Kapoor, Megan Rossetter, Mike Lauenger, Michelle Charnas, Moira Finicane, Natalia Sutin, Natacha Hardy, Nirav Patel, Ohad Tzur, Omar Mitchell, Ophir Barone, Parul Singh, Paul Artiuch, Roberto Bassi, Robin Bose (also a huge promoter of the project!), Sara and Adam Sigel, Sara and Dustin Martin, Sean Lee, Sean Leow, Shu Dar Yao, Sonia Gupta, Steve Oristaglio, Steve Doremus, Tim Fu, Vijay Patel, and Weisi Yuen.
Thanks everyone. I hope you enjoy the EP.