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Sic Alps news

October 19, 2010 by  

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Sic Alps news

The new SIC ALPS record is “NAPA ASYLUM” released on 24 January 2011 via Drag City

Matt and Mike met on a boat in NYC in 1996, playing with their bands, Henry’s Dress and The Ropers. Mike started Sic Alps with Adam Stonehouse of The Hospitals in 2004. Matt joined in 2005, stepping in to mix and basically realize the first LP “Pleasures and Treasures.” Noel Von Harmonson joined in 2009. You know – Noel, of Comets on Fire! Noel plays guitars, drums and all kinds of randomness on “Napa Asylum.”

Sic Alps always record themselves in the basement. Mike always brings in the song with lyrics and it gets built track by track on an 8 track. A recent exception to the rule is “My My Lai” on “Napa Asylum,” written and recorded by Matt. But back to the rule: Matt is always the “engineer” and often the arranger and concept master. The set-up is very minimal – delay pedal, reverb tank, two microphones, $100 preamp and Tascam 388. This has been this way for all the recordings.

2.5 years between records! Where were they? Comp tracks aside, only the Slumberland 7″ “L Mansion” and the Magic Markers split (Yik Yak) were released since “U.S. EZ” came out in July of 2008. Sic Alps were releasing a lot of music in the years 2006-2008 and “Napa Asylum” represents for the years when they slowed way down and took a minute to reflect.

Themes of the “Napa Asylum” record include re-incarnation, magic and schizophrenia. Some of the more adventurous writing on the record lyrically speaking: “The First White Man to Touch California” attempts to tie the “discovery” of California to the recent mortgage crisis. “Zeppo Epp” tells parallel tales of leaving a Midwestern home. Zeppo Epley drives off to never be heard from again while Charlotte Muldeen breaks up with her girlfriend and joins the Navy.

The songs are a fresh assortment of Sic pleasures, echoing half-emptily as the hooks slide into your flesh, animating you in marionette-style you to tip-tap your way across the dance-floor. Get your steps in while you can, the songs are as short as they are bittersweet. But the one that ends just makes way for the one coming next…



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