LIVE on Folk & Beyond with Aer Stephen
Thursday, December 10, 2009, 5:15 PM
In the summer of 1997, I met Maryline in San Antonio, TX. She had made the journey from France to visit a close friend, and found herself at a Seven Mary Three show after hearing "Cumbersome” on the radio. A long distance love story began. I left Seven Mary Three in 1999 and set out to re-discover myself as a songwriter. Living in France, armed with a 4-track recorder, a microphone, and a guitar, I began writing lyrics and teaching myself to sing. After moving to Charlottesville, VA, I began to record a few songs in the home studios of various friends, growing progressively more comfortable with my voice and my songwriting. In 2007, Maryline and I began working on a series of albums, the first titled "Last Tender Leaves" and the second titled "Pardon The Witches." I bought some equipment from friends and from strangers on the Internet, and we started recording the two albums in our basement. Sixteen tracks. Two microphones and a drum machine. Lyrically, the songs are about the levels that one sinks, or rises to when she/he realizes that something beautiful in their lives has been replaced by its memory. Musically, they are composed of deceptively simple melodies with sparse arrangements, built around the classic skeleton of American rock music- drums, bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar and keys/organs. I would describe 'Last Tender Leaves' and 'Pardon The Witches' as empty rooms inside broken homes, love's lost light, a holiday beach in the heart of winter, revenge, regret, quiet desperation, a honeymoon barrel going over the falls. Maryline took the picture of the sunset for the Pardon The Witches album cover, after a violent storm blew through and left the sky clean. “Wine Diamonds” is the title of our third album. The bare bones of these songs were recorded with live drums (Nathan West) and bass (David Bartok) in one day, and Maryline and I overdubbed the rest of the tracks in our basement. This album marks a change in the sound and the sentiment of our music; the songs are more up-tempo in general, and the lyrical content tends to be hopeful that, even though the world is a scary place, there are diamonds to be found at the bottom of the bottle.