The longtime songwriter, producer, and Tiny Telephone founder John Vanderslice relocated to Los Angeles from his Bay Area home at the beginning of the pandemic, and along with the geographic transition, has been making a sonic one as well. All through quarantine, Vanderslice reimagined his ways as an analog purist, diving deep into electronic composition, unlocking a new sound for himself and yielding a truckload of new music. His latest EP is inspired by a friendship he struck up with the late David Berman. They traded postcards, photos of pro wrestlers, and Berman imparted timeless songwriting advice. One of the cards simply read – “I can’t believe civilization is still going here in 2008! Congratulations to all of us, Love, DCB”.
The EP is a love letter to his friend, and “an anti-suicide pact with myself”, explains Vanderslice. It also features his most out there work yet – the opening track is daunting onslaught of electronic noise, but among the chaos there’s a familiar thread – it’s another singular work from John Vanderslice. In addition to the new collection, Vanderslice will be releasing an album of rarities, uncovered after closing up his iconic San Francisco studio and sifting through years of demos.
DCB is David Cloud Berman. He was a poet, cartoonist, musician, the Silver Jews and Purple Mountains singer-songwriter. He died on August 7th, 2019. This EP is a love letter to Berman and an anti-suicide pact between John Vanderslice and John Vanderslice. John met Berman in the early 2000s. Berman was an established name in indie rock while John was struggling for any kind of public acknowledgement. This disparity in success didn’t stop Berman from keeping up a lively correspondence with John throughout his life – a relationship that included trading ideas, suggesting song titles, and passing on crazy songwriting hacks. They sent each other music, pro-wrestler photos, and postcards. Despite describing Berman as his favorite lyricist, John has used this EP as a way to break away from lyric-driven song structure. It is an EP full of glitch, crunch, and synthesizer chaos. It is a deep-dive into John’s newfound obsession with electronic music.