GRAMMY-nominated trumpeter John Raymond and Bon Iver sideman S. Carey released “Steadfast” featuring Australian singer-songwriter Gordi — it’s the newest single from Raymond and Carey’s upcoming collaborative album Shadowlands. The album was produced by Sun Chung, and will be released on the Libellule Editions imprint of Chung’s Red Hook Records.
“Steadfast” brings a new energy to Shadowlands. Starting out with just a drum groove and bassline recorded on Raymond’s phone, the song evolved significantly as Raymond, Carey, and Gordi passed ideas back and forth remotely. “When I sent Gordi the song, the things she came back with elevated it immediately,” says Raymond. “She really helped us find the core of the song.” “Collaborating with Sophie is always a dream,” Carey adds. “Her voice and lyrics are a perfect complement to the music.” The song also includes Dave Devine on guitar, Chris Morrissey on bass, Ben Lester on pedal steel, and Aaron Parks on piano.
For S. Carey and John Raymond, the opportunity to collaborate has been a long time in the making. After meeting as music students at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where they studied both classical and jazz music, Carey and Raymond’s careers went in very different directions. Carey would become the right-hand man for Justin Vernon (aka Bon Iver), collaborate with the likes of Sufjan Stevens and Bruce Hornsby among others, and release four albums to critical acclaim. Simultaneously, Raymond was carving out a career as an internationally-recognized jazz trumpeter, “steering jazz in the right direction” (Downbeat Magazine) by releasing eight albums of his own and collaborating on many more, including four nominated for a GRAMMY.
The result of Raymond and Carey’s upcoming co-release, Shadowlands, a stunning, gorgeous collection of songs uprooted from simple genre descriptors. Recorded in the woods of Eau Claire, Wisconsin where the two met almost twenty years ago, the music combines the warmth and beauty of Carey’s aesthetic with the improvisational, spontaneous nature of Raymond’s, blurring the lines between indie folk, forward-thinking jazz, lush pop, and atmospheric electronic music. Soaring and anthemic moments are balanced with the intimate and meditative, giving way to a wide range of expression. Surrounding Carey’s breathy vocals and Raymond’s lyrical horn is an earthy sonic landscape that blends acoustic and electronic textures effortlessly, and the subtle, electric moments of musical interplay throughout the album repeatedly invite you deeper into their new musical world.
Photo Courtesy: Kyle Lehman