In just two weeks Spirit Was (the project of multi-instrumentalist & illustrator Nick Corbo) releases his debut solo full-length, Heaven’s Just a Cloud. On his first studio album Corbo explores heavy, distorted instrumentation and experimental techniques. He masterfully hones in on every detail, weaving them into vast networks throughout his entire catalogue and artwork. In its density, Heaven’s is threaded with memorable lyrics and recapitulating musical themes that guide the listener. It’s haunting, beautiful scenes of the natural world feel just as represented in the warm and classic sounds of country rock as they do in the dark, droning, shadows of Corbo’s doom and black metal influences.
Today, Spirit Was has shared the latest single from Heaven’s Just a Cloud titled “Stranger to the One.”
Spirit Was feels at home among the technical, melodic songwriting of Harry Nilsson’s studio recordings, or the dusty, psychedelic oblivion of Earth and Wolves in the Throne Room. A departure from his previously collaborative recordings, the album features Corbo on drums, bass, guitar, and keyboards, fusing sweet, intentional melodies and vocal harmonies over a slamming, distorted rhythm section.
After receiving a recommendation from his former bandmate and Trace Mountains singer/songwriter Dave Benton, Corbo called on engineer Matt Labozza to record Heaven’s Just A Cloud. Principal tracking for the record began at Studio G in Brooklyn where Nick performed drums for the album, accompanied by talented cellist, Rashaad Jones on a majority of the tracks. Corbo and Laboza then finished the recordings in a makeshift studio above Division St Guitars in Peekskill, NY. As the recording began taking shape, Corbo reached out to longtime collaborator and Crying singer, Z Santos, to record additional vocals for a bulk of the album remotely from their home in Olympia, WA. Keyboardist and saxophonist Griffin Koelbel was also called on to add beautiful dark synthesizers to some additional studio material for the album, which was finally completed with mastering from Edsel Holden in Nashville, TN.
Outside of Spirit Was, Corbo is a professional producer, musician, and visual artist who, over the past 10 years, has produced a catalogue of studio albums, an extensive collection of hand-made and individually illustrated distortion pedals, and a large portfolio of intricate visual art, including the pen and ink drawings that adorn this album’s artwork.
Heaven’s Just A Cloud is out October 22 via Danger Collective Records. To pre-order, go here. Keep up with Spirit Was’s illustrations, artwork, guitar pedals here and follow him on Instagram here. Save the date, Spirit Was and Trace Mountains host a special record release show at Brooklyn’s Baby’s All Right on November 20. Check here for details.
Photo Courtesy: Dave Medina