Bowl Of Plums

by BEN SERETAN

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  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

      €7 EUR  or more

     

  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    New album by Ben Seretan.
    Limited edition of 200 on light blue vinyl, the rest on black vinyl.
    Featuring a risograph-printed insert and kitchen table graphic inner sleeve.

    FOR PEOPLE IN THE USA: Ben's label Whatever's Clever is releasing the American version! It's out June 24th. Much cheaper shipping to buy from them. Check benseretan.bandcamp.com

    *****

    "I’m really all flowers
    inside and you can
    really have them
    I’ll name them
    for you."
    -Eileen Myles

    A greatest hits collection
    A beginner's guide to botany
    The sound of one heart swelling
    A book of hymns to joy
    The clumsiest among us suddenly discovers grace
    A bowl of plums on the table, peaceful and juicy in the afternoon sun
    Rhododendron and plumeria
    Dandelions and hyacinth
    Honeysuckle and lavender

    These songs were written on an island in Alaska, my mother's condo in California, a greeting card factory in Queens, a pharmaceutical factory in Brooklyn, and by the light of a miniature Christmas tree. They were recorded and mixed in 7 studios in 5 different states over the course of a year. They really mean a lot to me and I hope you enjoy.

    Read on:
    bser.tumblr.com/post/145218338360/press-release-bowl-of-plums

    *****

    All songs written by Ben Seretan

    With performances by:
    Alex Lewis, Nico Hedley, Ethan Meyer, Rose Blanshei, Alex Tatusian, Maia Friedman, Dave Lackner, Katie Von Schleicher, Jake Nussbaum, & Will Stratton

    "Blues," "Cottwonwood Tree," "Bowl of Plums," "Blood in the Muzzle," "Kudzu," & "Thommy" recorded by Kyle Pulley at Headroom Studios, Philadelphia, PA
    "My Lucky Stars, part II" recorded by Julian Fader and Carlos Hernandez at Gravesend Recordings, Brooklyn, NY
    "In a Twin Bed," "Getting Out," and "You Are on the Water" recorded by Elio DeLuca at the Soul Shop, Medford, MA
    Intro to "Bowl of Plums" and "I Like Your Size" recorded by JJ Beck at Akin Studios, Hoosick Falls, NY
    Additional tracking recorded by Alex Mead-Fox at Spaceman Sound, Brooklyn, NY
    Mixed by Victor Nash, Destination: Universe! Portland, OR
    Additional mixing by Tim Shrout
    Mastered by Gus Elg, Sky Onion, Portland, OR
    Cover photo by Michele Mirisola
    Design by Alex Tatusian

    Includes unlimited streaming of Bowl Of Plums via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ... more
    ships out within 3 days
    edition of 500 

      €15 EUR or more 

     

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about

I’m really all flowers
inside and you can
really have them
I’ll name them
for you
(Eileen Myles)

*****

"Still songs that are sung and usually played with a guitar. Two songs featuring a baby grand piano. Less jamming, but one very satisfying guitar solo up top. Tighter songs. Toe tappers. Some really juicy vocal harmonies throughout. A more 'classic' feel, perhaps. Lots and lots of slide guitar - the slide guitar kind of binds everything, like ribbon around a christmas present.

Bowl of Plums is a bowl of fruit, a refrigerator door full of postcards, the day after the party, a serene still life with dried flowers, a roll of film with pictures from last summer, a book of hymns to joy. Feeling okay. A greatest hits album.

Greatest hits albums take a few of the best cuts here and there from over the years and lovingly package them in a new structure, revealing the hidden undercurrents and through-lines of a life.

I wrote these songs all over the country at different points in the last four years - on broken down pianos on an island in Alaska, on my grandmother’s nylon string guitar from 1953, in my tiny, freezing bedroom at an art gallery in Queens while nursing a hangover… and I worked on the recordings all over, too - in upstate New York, Massachusetts, Philadelphia, Portland - with a huge cast of musicians and engineers.

A lot of these songs were hammered out while touring Italy last summer. Some were recorded to analog tape, some were recorded in high-def digital formats, a lot of them are a mix of both. And so the songs all sound a little different, like they might have been taken from a whole career of albums. Each track seems to me to hint at a nonexistent record that might have been made in the last two years. These are the best of them, the shiniest plums. The greatest moments.

The first music I ever bought with my own money (from the Wherehouse Music in Santa Ana, CA) was the Violent Femmes' Add It Up (1981 - 1993), still one of my favorite albums. You hear the life of the band for those 12 years, you hear them grow and maybe start to hate each other, you hear rare glimpses of their material you maybe wouldn’t have heard otherwise. I had that record in mind while making Bowl of Plums."

*****

"The pain-killing sensation of gratitude welling up and warming up your blood,
the time my friend Alex sent me a postcard from Alaska in the middle of the summer and describing the trees making it look like snow and talking about landing a plane on a glacier,
feeling so happy that you start crying,
talking to your friends on the phone,
trying to sleep next to someone in a bed that’s clearly too small,
saying I love you but, more than that, saying that I’m in love with you,
plants,
fruit,
feeling determined and certain that you will walk out of a situation that is causing you distress, like calmly exiting a burning building,
the iron-willed glee of a well-deserved hangover,
vanquishing the goblins of bad vibes,
there’s one straight-up country love song,
of course flowers,
arriving on your lover’s doorstep in the snow as a blizzard rains down on New York City and hearing just the right phrase to melt away decades of body anxiety,
swimming,
dreams I’ve had,
taking a nap in the afternoon sun."

credits

released July 8, 2016

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