Release Date 12/09/2016
“There is something about the stillness and monotony of growing up in a small, southern town where I felt disgustingly inward, and at the same time, fixated on the crude surfaces of things...pores of skin, grease in food, crackle of bad speakers...and everything else became a background to these surfaces...this album is about that sort of feeling”
Tristan McNeil (Nude With Lyre) grew up in Augusta, Georgia and was trained primarily in the visual fine arts, but also classical and jazz music as a child. He spent his early years after high school working as a dishwasher and a line cook, occasionally playing in local bar bands, and later working as a graphic designer and concert video editor.
His debut album, Blood, began as a score for a friend’s short-film - documenting desolate scenes of his hometown and “violence-out-of-boredom.” Inspired by the “empty 1970s nostalgia” and “pop music distorted by shitty speakers and poor acoustics,” he created an atmosphere of retro synth sounds displaced by futuristic production ideas – blasts of sub bass, treated vocals, and an offbeat layering of rhythms akin to the phasing of Steve Reich.
“I wanted to make music in which the layers maintained a calm tension between them...so that each layer existed on its own plane rather than locking together in syncopation or any kind of precise relationship...a fundamentally looser, more abstract rhythmic correlation between parts than in most music...
Something to be felt in a different way from the traditional rhythmic agenda of music, but with all the intensity of pop music and expressive classical music...not merely a background atmosphere.”
When the film unexpectedly came to a halt, Tristan was left with music that he felt intimately connected to and constructed his own narrative for the music. Adding and subtracting layers and modifying sounds over a period of two years, the music evolved into a deeply personal work of droning post-pop akin to Grouper, Laurel Halo, and Ian William Craig.
“It’s an album about my own experience, working shitty food service jobs in a small southern town…moments of getting lost in sublime fantasy interrupted by the vulgar realness of excessive exhaust from passing cars, humid air saturated with the chemical smell of paper plants...and finding ecstasy in monotony.”