Cinder Well is the assumed moniker of Amelia Baker, who relocated to Ireland’s County Clare from California to study Irish music. Her new album, No Summer, coming July 24 on Free Dirt Records, is the very much the product of the detachment that comes from a worldwide COVID-19 quarantine that only serves to further isolate her.
No Summer is an album caught between worlds: recorded in a church on the West Coast of the U.S., inspired by the tolling of a church in Ireland, made from the perspective of a young woman who has made a home in the space between. The album unfolds slowly, thoughtfully, like a poem in the journal of a traveler, but these songs are not meant to be paens to loneliness or in any way nihilistic, in fact the inspiration behind many of them came from the drive to share music and to connect with people and to strip traditional music down to its frame, a ritual observed by many over the ages.
To create No Summer, Baker sought out Nich Wilbur (Black Belt Eagle Scout, Angel Olsen) of “The Unknown” studio in Anacortes, Washington. This studio in a converted church is known for its work with The Microphones and Mount Eerie, and its quiet nature gave Baker space to explore the songs. Her original songs rub shoulders with careful reworkings of traditional Appalachian songs, as Baker parsed the tradition for inspiration.
Today, Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of premiering “Old Enough” and Baker had this to say about it.
“I started recording No Summer in Anacortes, Washington, during the winter of 2018. When I left the studio at the end of that session, I was sure the album was finished. ‘Old Enough’ developed over the course of the following months, so we went back to the studio to record it after our West Coast tour in the fall of 2019. The end of the track features my bandmates Mae Kessler and Marit Schmidt singing in harmony with me. The lyric ‘the long grass, it is grown, oe’r the steps of the door’ is loosely based on a line from an Irish ballad called ‘Sweet Iniscarra’.” Pre-order here