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Cover of vinyl record SWALLOWTAIL by artist A

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SWALLOWTAIL

LP - THRILL JOCKEY - - AMERICANA - In stock
€ 33,95

The collaboration between renowned drummer Jim White and acclaimed guitarist Marisa Anderson is a natural union of two of the most intuitive players and listeners working in music. White and Anderson are each very in-demand as collaborators in no small part because of their mastery, versatility and highly expressive playing. The duo have each amassed an impressive body of work, and remain at the vanguard of their practices due to an insatiable curiosity and delight in exploration of new avenues of expression. Their 2020 debut The Quickening exemplified that daring spirit as an exercise in trust: two musicians who had never performed together before committing those first moments in time to record. 2024’s Swallowtail is a deepening of that trust, White and Anderson completely immersed in the moment, each attuned to the other fluidly moving as wind and water.

Swallowtail was recorded in the Australian coastal town of Point Lonsdale, Victoria with engineer Nick Huggins (Resting Bell Studio). White was coming off a month of international touring and Anderson traveled to Australia for the duo’s first few performances, the remote setting and calm provided the ideal backdrop. “It was a big change of vibe and scenery,” says Anderson, “to be out of the city and on the coast with no distraction and to be working with an engineer (and avid surfer) who is attuned to the cycles of tides and sunrises and sunsets and ocean rhythms. I think all of that got into the music as we were making it.” The coastal cadence is evident in Swallowtail’s more gradual temporal shifts. Movements ebb and flow, in an undulating constant motion whose dynamic flourishes closely resembles their adaptive live performances. “When we play live we don’t stop, there are no breaks in between ‘songs’,” notes Anderson, “we segue naturally between movements and ideas. Sometimes we are together, and sometimes we are apart, sometimes the segues become the pieces.” The natural development of the duo's own singular meter, this early in their collaboration, is nothing short of revelatory.

The duo avoids preconceived movements, instead focusing on their musical conversation. As Anderson puts it, “The ideas aren’t the music, they are the pathway into the musical possibilities.” Their trust in one another and skillful interplay create an effervescence throughout the album. There is an organic ebb and flow to the duo’s motions that brings a sense of serenity and ease to spontaneous transitions, each swell and retraction sounding as free as it does inevitable.

Swallowtail is a journey of steady change. White and Anderson’s preternatural alchemy as a duo allows each fleeting gesture to feel featherlight and stirring while maintaining an inquisitive spirit. Their music is an enchanting and illuminating celebration of process as joy. Swallowtail lives at the precipice of slowly unraveling revelation and the thrilling unknown, White and Anderson finding beauty in pursuit of uncovering the next moment and what possibilities lie ahead of them. The album evokes both the natural setting of its recording and the natural expanses around home. Reminiscent of the grace of its namesake’s movement through the garden’s flora, Swallowtail is a beautiful listen whose depth unfolds with the dance of this astute and untethered duo, guiding us nimbly through nature’s vistas and our dreams. 

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