Thursday, August 6, 2015

Brian Carpenter & The Confessions - The Far End of the World

The Far End of the World (Accurate / October 2, 2015) is the debut full-length album from Brian Carpenter & the Confessions, a Boston-based band led by Brian Carpenter (Beat Circus, Ghost Train Orchestra). The album transports the listener into another world filled with haunting imagery, reverb-drenched guitar, and Carpenter's dry baritone evoking desire, loss, loneliness, and separation. The album was recorded by Rafi Sofer at Q Division in the winter in Boston and mixed by Craig Schumacher in the deserts of Tucson, Arizona.

The Far End of the World turns a corner in Capenter’s songwriting to dig deeper into a place of vulnerability and intimacy to create a bond with the listener. While “Savior of Love” explores the anxieties of forbidden love, the romantic unraveling begins with the next song “Lost at Sea.” The rest of the album further explores the complexities of desire, separation, feeling lost, memory, and rumination.

Carpenter sought out veteran music producer Craig Schumacher (Calexico, Neko Case) to mix the album and enlisted a who's-who of the Boston music scene to collaborate with. The band includes drummer Gavin McCarthy (Karate, Ted Leo), guitarist Andrew Stern (Beat Circus), violinist Jonathan LaMaster (Cul de Sac), violist David Michael Curry (Thalia Zedek Band), cellist Rachel Barringer (The Wrong Shapes), and singers Jen Kenneally and Noell Dorsey (Guillermo Sexo.) Guest Carla Kihlstedt (Tin Hat, Rabbit Rabbit) sings and performs on violin, viola, and the traditional Swedish nyckelharpa throughout the record.

In 2001, Carpenter moved to Boston from Florida to direct a documentary on the life and legacy of Albert Ayler with a group of MIT and NYU film students. He began producing radio documentaries and a free-form experimental radio shows broadcasting out of WZBC-FM at Boston College. In 2004, Carpenter founded the sprawling Boston-based band Beat Circus, which he sings and composes music for and whose 2009 album Boy from Black Mountain won the Independent Music Award for Best Alt/Country Album. In 2006, he founded the Ghost Train Orchestra, an acclaimed jazz orchestra in Brooklyn devoted to reimagining lost music from the late 1920s and '30s. He started The Confessions in an effort to form a band "focused around the voice and words."

Carpenter has been featured on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross. He has recorded with post-punk legends Swans on their comeback album My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky. He has collaborated with many artists across genres and mediums, including Michael Gira, filmmaker Michael Snow, comic book writer Harvey Pekar, guitarist Marc Ribot, and Martin Bisi.

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