Handmade Birds is the new label of Texas-based Pyramids/Sailors With Wax Wings/White Moth mastermind R. Loren. Folks familiar with his music know he has great aesthetic sense as well as a knack for networking (remember those Atari Teenage Riot-to-Unwound packed lineups for SWWW and White Moth?). The first release on the label is When California Falls Into The Sea, a limited-edition LP of solo guitar pieces by Evan Caminiti, one half of dark San Francisco (Thrill Jockey-imprinted) duo Barn Owl. He strips it down some on When California. Think Loren Connors or Roy Montgomery wrangling with more recent Earth, but with something more grim, urban, and destructive amid the clean notes and fragile picking. It’s pretty and dark without being morose. Before listening to standout “Burning A Hole Through The Sky,” read a couple thoughts on the collection from Caminiti. I mentioned to him that the record title could be seen as a joke of some sort, but also as something more sinister and apocalyptic. Or maybe just nostalgic somehow.
Yeah, I wouldn’t say it’s a joke, but the title itself is very tongue-in-cheek. Since the album is inspired by urban decay and some of the darker aspects of life in the city, to me it sort of reflects this feeling I often get of, “well, we’re all doomed … so let’s make the most of the time we’ve got.” It’s apocalyptic at the same time it is optimistic. Nostalgia, yeah that too — sort of lamenting the innocence we inevitably lose with age. I’m drawn to dark themes but nothing good comes out of just being morose. The stripped down nature of the album — no loops, little electronics, at it’s essence it’s just one or two tracks of guitar- reflects this feeling of vulnerability, uncertainty, and joy all coexisting.
When California Falls Into The Sea is out 4/12 via Handmade Birds in an edition of 500 LP’s (100 white, 400 black). You should investigate the label a bit — upcoming releases/vinyl reissues from Blut Aus Nord (a vinyl reissue of Mort), His Name Is Alive, Celestiial, Circle Of Ouroborus, the Rita, Black Boned Angel, White Ring, etc.