One Week Records is a new project from Joey Cape. He describes it:
A One Week Record is ten songs that are recorded in seven days. The records are produced in my home studio. The artist is invited to my house to eat, drink, sleep and record music for one week. Given the limited schedule, there is no time to overproduce. The idea stems from my long-time love affair with demos. I am often disappointed with the big production that follows. I don’t want to hear what the studio sounds like, I want to hear what the artist sounds like. The goal here at One Week Records is to produce high quality recordings that are an honest representation of an artist’ creativity.
Brian Wahlstrom is the mysterious stranger in Scorpios, his band with Cape, Jon Snodgrass, and, formerly, Tony Sly. I don’t think I’m alone in knowing little about his work compared to his bandmates. A few years ago, he released a weird little demo called Garbagio that has since disappeared from the internet, furthering the mystery. I remember hearing people say he sings in operas. What does this obviously talented dude sound like in his own songs? What I do know, what’s clear from this first full album, is that he is a remarkable piano player and songwriter.
The One Week Records set-up suits Wahlstrom’s songs well–he’s got a knack for darting little melodies and soaring choruses that might get cluttered by more production or musicians. When he’s left to piano, voice, and the occasional acoustic guitar, drum machine, violin(?), and guest vocal by Cape, all of Wahlstrom’s esoterics and virtuosities make more sense. Sonically, Wahlstrom maintains an impressive mood on the album–somber and rainy but always in motion. His lyrics feel cinematic or theatrical but they’re never specific enough to visualize as a scene, so they achieve this cool montage-like significance in which you can groove to the basic trajectory of the story/lyrics and enjoy the atmosphere of his great voice without seeing every movement play out in front of you. I love specific lyrics, but I also love Wahlstrom’s playing and singing. There aren’t a lot of albums that sound like this, that balance demo-simplicity and gorgeous instruments and punk-ish undertones. It’s unique and beautiful and I recommend it and it’s only five dollars.
Check out One Week Records for Wahlstrom‘s amazing songs, as well as a record by Chris Cresswell of the Flatliners and a forthcoming one from Canadian songwriter Jo Bergeron. Follow Wahlstrom’s Facebook.