Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Apr 6th 2010 4:30PM by Dave Jaffer
The Barn -- or Harmony Lodge, as it is affectionately known -- is where Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel go to make music. It's "an escape, a hideout" -- a refuge from the world and their toy box, the place where they lay down to think and where they lay down tracks that waft and wander through the structure.
"It's about a forty-minute drive from the city -- the 'city' that we live in," Barthel tells Spinner. "It's east of Saratoga Springs [New York] and it's outside of this small town called Easton that's, like, population 100 or so, in the countryside at this place called Harmony Lodge. It's where Josh grew up, actually. It's where his parents' house is and the barn is on the property, a little bit farther back from the house."
"We kind of converted it to our own little practice space and studio, a little area where we have all of our instruments that we've collected along the way, our recording devices and big speakers, where we can listen to music and hang out. It's nicely lit, so it doesn't feel strange sitting in a barn. It's where we spend a lot of our time if we're not on the road and if we're not hanging out with some friends."
Chances are Barthel and Carter won't be spending too much time at Harmony Lodge in 2010. Their full-length debut, 'Eyelid Movies,' is already one of the most talked-about albums of the year, and will almost certainly keep the upstate New York duo both in the van and in demand. Before SXSW they strung together a series of dates in Canada with Hot Hot Heat, and in April they're going on the road from Ohio to Oregon with the Antlers.
Fusing a variety of genres and effectively challenging notions of what we want and expect pop music to be, the songs on 'Eyelid Movies' feature complexity masquerading as simplicity. They are oftentimes dark and oftentimes pop, but never quite dark pop. There are hip-hop elements without hip-hop tracks and weirdo, left-field elements and samples, but no detectable irony. While songs like 'As Far as I Can See' clearly nod in Portishead's direction, the overall mood is groovy, not gloomy.
Strange, considering it was made in a barn. In the countryside. In the winter.