Ben Hozie (conductor, vocals, guitar), Nikki Belfiglio (art director, vocals, samples, hi hat), Heather Elle (bass), and Madison Velding Vandam (lead guitar, producer) have recently
recruited Tai Lee (formerly a performer/drummer in the show STOMP) as their new stand-up percussionist (original drummer Montana Simone has left to pursue her painting and sculpture). After a year of touring behind their debut LP ENDLESS SCROLL, last winter the group headed up to Power Station in Connecticut to record seven new tracks. The resulting EP marks a series of firsts for the group : it is the band’s first recording done with Tai Lee, it’s first session at a proper studio, and the first BODEGA disc produced within the group – production was handled by lead guitarist Madison Velding Vandam. The resulting collection of tracks marks a lush new sonic direction for the group – widescreen multi-tracked guitars and a giant sounding rhythm section complement sharp songwriting and yearning vocal melodies.
The short disc covers various thematic ground ——> history alive in the present, the sadness of modern consumption, adultery via sexting, and a song set inside an actual bodega (‘Shiny New Model’). In addition to the EP’s breezy hook-filled songs, the LP’s B-side features an extended improvised version of the group’s staple track ’Truth is not Punishment’ (an abbreviated ‘radio edit’ of this track will be available on streaming services). The band has been using this song as a vehicle for extended live improvisation for a year and decided to use a day of the EP’s session to experiment with capturing live improvisation in the studio.
The disc was mixed by Evan Bakke and mastered by Mikey Young.
You can get it here