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J Mascis tours Europe in April, including intimate London show.

February 21, 2011 by  

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J Mascis tours Europe in April, including intimate London show.

J Mascis will play intimate European shows in support of his first ever solo album, ‘Several Shades of Why’. Mascis will perform at Cargo in London on April 14th, following the release of his new album through Sub Pop on March 14th.

‘Several Shades…’ is a mostly acoustic affair, featuring guest appearances from Kurt Vile, Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene) and Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses) among others. For an insight into the record, check out this video interview as Mascis gives a tour around his studio, as well as answering some questions on the record.

Also, there is also a free download of ‘Is It Done’ available – from ‘Several Shades of Why’. Check it out here: http://assets3.subpop.com/assets/audio/8555.mp3

First ever solo album, ‘Several Shades of Why’, released on March 14th, preceded by new single ‘Not Enough’, on February 28th.

It’s all but inconceivable that J Mascis requires an introduction. In the quarter-century since he founded Dinosaur (Jr.), Mascis has created some of the era’s signature songs, albums and styles. As a skier, golfer, songwriter, skateboarder, record producer, and musician, he has few peers. Playing European shows in support of his forthcoming album Several Shades of Why, Mascis will arrive in London on April 14th for an intimate performance at London’s Cargo. This follows the release of the album on March 14th, and single ‘Not Enough’ on February 28th.

Several Shades of Why is Mascis’ first solo studio record, a record of incredible beauty, performed with a delicacy not always associated with his work. Recorded at Amherst Massachusetts’ Bisquiteen Studios, the album is nearly all acoustic and was created with the help of a few friends. Notable amongst them are Kurt Vile, Sophie Trudeau (A Silver Mount Zion), Kurt Fedora (long-time collusionist), Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene), Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses), Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession), Matt Valentine (The Golden Road), and Suzanne Thorpe (Wounded Knees). Together in small mutable groupings, they conjure up classic sounds ranging from English-tinged folk to drifty, West Coast-style singer/songwriterism. But every track, every note even, bears that distinct Mascis watermark. In celebration of the release, a free download of album track ‘Is It Done’ has been made available, downloadable direct from Sub Pop.

“Megan from Sub Pop has wanted me to do this record for a long time,” says Mascis. “She was very into it when I was playing solo a lot in the early 2000s, around the time of the Fog album [2002’s Free So Free]. She always wanted to know when I’d do a solo record. [Several Shades of Why] came out of that. There are a couple of songs that are older, but the rest is new this year. And it’s basically all acoustic. There’s some fuzz, but it’s acoustic through fuzz. There’re no drums on it, either. Just one tambourine song, that’s it. It was a specific decision to not have drums. Usually I like to have them, but going drum-less pushes everything in a new direction, and makes it easier to keep things sounding different.”

There is little evidence of stress on Several Shades of Why. The title track is a duet with Sophie Trudeau’s violin recalling Nick Drake’s work at its most elegant. ‘Not Enough’ feels like a lost hippie-harmony classic from David Crosby’s If I Could Only Remember My Name. ‘Is It Done’ rolls like one of the Grisman/Garcia tunes on American Beauty. ‘Very Nervous and Love’ has the same rich vibe as the amazing rural side of Terry Reid’s The River. And on and on it goes. Ten brilliant tunes that quietly grow and expand until they fill your brain with the purest pleasure. What a goddamn great album.

European Dates in April:
13th – Dublin, Whelans
14th – London, Cargo
16th – Paris, Point Ephemere
17th – Milan, Bloom
18th – Rome, Circolo degli Artisti
20th – Antwerp, Trix
21st – Amsterdam, Sugar Factory
22nd – Madrid, Moby Dick
23rd – Barcelona, La (2)



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