Above The Trees breaks rank from its two predecessors both in impetus and craftsmanship. The album, which was written in a short three months and recorded in an even shorter week, was born from the ether of experience and beauty that finds its way through the dark. ‘Above...’ drifts ashore as a series of removed, but reflexive short stories; clusters of pastoral, yet cosmic abstractions. Songs are broadcast like shifting entities: overcast dreams part to reveal mackerel skies as their characters become indigenous in feral, electrified terrain. What may be Paul’s most musically straightforward record yet may also be his most psychologically complex. Through a turbulent and sensual process, he takes into account the intangible - the ebb and flow above the trees - and translates it all through people and the instruments in their hands.
Paul traveled to Chicago to record Above The Trees with engineer Tim Iseler at Soma EMS. Something came to life during that hot week in July, and with the help of many old and new friends; the record features performances by Adam Wills (Rhys Chatham’s Essentialist, Bear In Heaven), Christopher Bear (Grizzly Bear), David Daniell (San Agustin, Rhys Chatham’s Essentialist), Doug McCombs (Tortoise, Brokeback). Fred Lonberg-Holm (Terminal 4, Lightbox Orchestra), Joe Stickney (Rhys Chatham’s Essentialist, Bear in Heaven), Josh Berman (Rob Mazurek’s Exploding Star Orchestra), Ken Champion (Jim O’Rourke), Nate Lepine (Cursive, Smog), Nate Swanson, and Tim Daisy (The Vandermark 5). For Above The Trees, the studio became Paul’s home, and these players his visitors. The result may be the most heartfelt and sonically exciting record in Paul’s infinitely expanding catalogue of sound.
released October 26, 2012
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