Spine to Sea

by The Stares

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about

Eight months in the making, The Stares' Spine to Sea is a work to which many somber -ism's apply. The Stares are an easy obsession to acquire, and no one who hears this CD will walk away from it untouched. The voices of songwriters Angie Benintendi and Drew Whittemore fixate on some distant invisible expanse, treading so slowly, so articulately, through landscapes familiar, but sprinkled with an epiphanized dust of solemnity that just doesn't wash off the listener's soul. "Americana" maybe, but with roots so deep in the earth that there's no geography that could ever really contain them. The songs seem to rise up out of themselves, having no visible origin nor point of destination; they just are.

From Seattle, the Stares are a four-piece with aforementioned vocalists/songwriters Whittemore and Benintendi on guitar and electric piano/keyboards respectively, and Don McGreevy on bass and Jason Merculief on drums. This ensemble is filled out with string and woodwind arrangements by Eyvind Kang, who authored along similar lines for the latest Blonde Redhead CD. As great as that was, he absolutely outdid himself on Spine To Sea. The album is supported further by an auxiliary team of various Seattle music legends herded under the Stares roof by Randall Dunn, the record's production wizard.

credits

released May 31, 2005

Angie Benintendi - voice, piano, keys
Don McGreevy - bass, drums, percussion, voice
Jason Merculief - drums, percussion voice
Drew Whittemore - voice, guitars
with
Greg Campbell - french horn
Eyvind Kang - violin, viola
Taina Karr - oboe, english horn, oboe d'amore
Steve Moore - celeste
Skerik - vibes
Hans Teuber - flute, bass clarinet
Gretchen Yanover - cello

Record at Aleph Studios by Randall Dunn
Assisted by Mell Dettmer
Mixed at Avast! with Randall Dunn and Mell Dettmer
Mastered at Sinister Kitchen by Mell Dettmer
Orchestration arrangement by Eyvind Kang
Produced by Randall Dunn and The Stares

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