BALTO ANNOUNCING STRANGERS
LP OUT 2/24/17
STREAM “LOST ON THE YOUNG” VIA CONSEQUENCE OF SOUND
Portland mainstays Balto are finally back with a complete new album. Strangers will be released on February 24 via Total Reality Meltdown, and today, Consequence of Sound is bringing you a taste of the new LP with album opener, “Lost on the Young”. Explains frontman Daniel Sheron,
“We wanted to open the record with a song that could set the tone for the whole thing – charge hard into the groove and then take a breath, mellow out, sit back into the pocket, and then smash again. Thematically, I think it introduces a subject matter that we unpack throughout the rest of the album.”
The band has previously shared two singles, “CA LUV” and “Born Astray,” that will be featured on the album.
STREAM + SHARE “LOST ON THE YOUNG”
MORE ON BALTO:
Take heart with Balto’s Strangers. It channels a feeling — once pervasive in American and British music— that time is ultimately survivable. Whether the hours are flying by or looking bleak, Balto keeps moving on and moving forward, even as the mood roams from wild revelry, to wry forbearance, to the foolproof remedy of rock-and-roll blasted at full volume. The Balto story begins six years previous, when singer and guitarist Daniel Sheron wrote the first album, October’s Road, holed up in splendid isolation in Siberia, Russia. Sheron then returned to the States, assembled a band, and has since increasingly turned from his earlier confessional tone to a rowdier gonzo embrace of musical Americana. Taking root in Portland, Oregon, Balto expanded to a four-piece with Seth Mower, Devon Hoffner, and Luke Beckel on drums, bass, and guitar (respectively), and dropped an EP, Call it by its Name. For their next full album, Balto sought a little more alchemy in the recording process itself, something approaching the legendary sessions of yesteryear, a half-party kilter, free from the confines of a typical studio setup. Recently returned from a grueling tour of Alaska’s interior, they found a farmhouse studio, located in the fields of an agricultural island in Oregon, and sojourned there for nine days— stocked with a generation of new songs, dozens of borrowed instruments, and several hundred tallboys.
The loose, bucolic setting made for fertile developments. Songs took on a backporch ease. Instrumentation got ad hoc, with a tuba loaned from a local middle school and an empty swimming pool serving as a reverb chamber. With the opportunity to become truly lost in their work, ideas and paint flew at the walls; yet the project stayed tight and bright through the discerning production of Phillipe Bronchtein, who balanced the looseness of the sessions with gentle rigor and clarity, welcoming Sheron’s penchant for bombast while bringing the razor to things whenever necessary. Consequently, the alloyed sounds on Strangers are uncluttered and weighted perfectly to the musical arcs they tender. In the final mix (courtesy of Jeff Saltzman), every note rings out and fades away in the expanse, revealing in full Balto’s luscious and impeccable songcraft.
Likewise, the plentiful influences—Motown, Big Star, Alabama Shakes, Plastic Ono Band-era Lennon— seep in without lapsing into pastiche or overwhelming the sturdy rock-and-roll armature of the melody. Instead, it feels like a long, open-windowed trek through the dusty highways of America. This metaphor works doubly well since Strangers is all but engineered to listen to while hightailing it for a new life on another coast. The odyssey finally rounds out with the bare and heart-baring One Night Show, that leaves the listener on a note of irresolution, a fitful farewell that’s half-ready to get in the car and drive all the way back again. If so, Balto has already made their case by record’s end: good times shouldn’t wait for the bad to go away.
Catch BALTO Live:
1/21 – Portland, OR – Bunk Bar
1/22 – Bellingham, WA – Swillery Whiskey Bar
1/23 – Seattle, WA @ Barboza *
1/25 – San Francisco, CA – Rickshaw *
1/27 – Los Angeles, CA – HiHat %
* – with Communist Daughter
% – with The Donkeys
- Lost on the Young
- Restless Generation
- CA LUV
- Born Astray
- Shots in the Dark
- Star of Bethlehem
- Celebration Smile
- A Year Lasts a Lifetime
- One Night Show