Chris Walla to Release Tape Loops, First Solo Album Since Departing Death Cab for Cutie
Thu, 08 Oct 2015 12:47:57
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There was a sense that when Chris Walla left pioneering emo band Death Cab for Cutie in 2014, he was ready for something different. His 17 years as co-founder of the group were productive, yielding eight albums, as well as a solo release, Field Manual, in 2008. But, as he explained in a piece penned for a Seattle weekly titled "Why I'm Leaving Death Cab for Cutie," he wrote, "I long for the unknown. It might be that simple."
Walla's new album, Tape Loops, available next Friday, October 16 through his own Trans Records, is definitive proof. As his press materials state, "Tape Loops offers up a quietly dynamic listen that is as beautiful as it is masterful. Leaning into the constraints of analog loop-based recording, Walla's virtuosity as a composer and producer shines. The album's richly layered arrangements reveal their powerful intricacies little by little."
"Digital recording and editing often feels like working in a spreadsheet—it's not always a place for dreams," Walla says, of the decision to pursue an analog-based sound. Even just a cursory listen to these five densely ambient tracks—think Brian Eno meets Philip Glass—reveals that Walla is indeed wandering through his own field of dreams and musical ideas, unfettered by the constraints of Death Cab's pop leanings, though with the unique challenges brought about by "using piles of decaying magnetic tape, finicky machines and razor blades." "I can't change a closed, physical tape loop with a mouse-click or a keystroke," Walla says, "And that's precisely the point."
It's immense, expansive, and gorgeous. Check out lead single "Kanta's Theme" here:
—The ARTISTdirect Staff
Pre-order Tape Loops at iTunes.