GRAMMY-nominated trumpeter John Raymond and Bon Iver sideman S. Carey released their video for “Chrysalis,” the newest single from Raymond and Carey’s upcoming collaborative album Shadowlands. The album was produced by Sun Chung, and will be released September 15th on the Libellule Editions imprint of Chung’s Red Hook Records.
“When we were putting together the music for the album, producer Sun Chung had the idea of bringing in a preexisting song of Sean’s and trying to put a new spin on it,” Raymond explains. “‘Chrysalis’ came to mind right away, and I brought in some ideas to start. We changed the key and opened up the bridge section, but otherwise didn’t really know how it was going to turn out until we got in the studio with the full band. We ended up tracking the song on the first night we were all together. After playing it through a couple times, everyone’s parts started to emerge. Each musician contributed something special that brought it to life in a new way, from the opening piano chords by Aaron Parks to the driving guitar and bass lines by Dave Devine and Chris Morrissey and more. What came out was this sort of alt-rock meets progressive jazz aesthetic, and we ended up getting a magical take that highlights the band dynamic we had in the studio, not to mention the incredible musicianship of everyone involved.”
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 from Pitchfork, NPR, and more. 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.
Shadowlands is 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