MCCANN, SEAN & SULLIVAN, MATTHEW & TWOMEY, ALEX
Saturday Night is the debut LP by old friends and collaborators Alex Twomey, Matthew Sullivan, and Sean McCann. Recorded over numerous evenings at the artists’ homes, and completed just before the birth of Matthew’s daughter, Flora. The album became an excuse to spend time with one another as well as perform. As the trio ordered take-out, drank scotch, smoked on patios, laughing off the weight of reality–they stumbled into moments of musical focus.
This album has a prism of fidelities. High and low resolutions press together as the environment blows through the instruments. The woozy, side-long titular track of hesitant cello and pianos opens the record. Quiet music with blemishes and inebriated pauses, breathing an alleviated air. Phrases with failing propellers, teetering between melodic and apathetic. The true speed of their Saturday nights.
Side two opens with “London On My Mind.” Reflecting the other pole, manic cassette treatments duel over Twomey’s placid keyboard, ultimately breaking into a little joke on the piano. “Collection” features guitar by Sullivan, remembered for his thick fog of work under the alias Earn. With Sullivan’s return to the instrument, he is joined by Twomey on upright piano and McCann processing the room in real-time. The brief final work, “Bird,” recalls the style of the group's private press cassettes, The Bird and Charlotte’s Office: poorly-played pleasant-hearted music.
Each edition of the record includes a 20-page photo booklet of stills documenting the recording process. The deluxe edition, limited to 25, includes signed and annotated jackets and an exclusive cassette, One More Saturday Night. In 2019 two practice sessions were filmed by Sullivan on VHS, the audio has been isolated for this cassette. Side One opens with an alternate version of “Saturday Night,” recorded outside at night on Twomey’s patio, looking in through a glass door at the artists. Crickets and dogs hum over the trio’s dampened music. Side Two features a live, 25-minute run through of “London On My Mind,” their erratic piece for microcassettes, piano, and synthesizer. This recording was pulled from a video of a little glass clown, sitting motionless in a bouquet of flowers as the cacophony wails through the room.