Influences: Joyero

Influences: Joyero

Solo musings from American multi-instrumentalist Andy Stack...

Joyero is a new project from the vastly experienced figure of Andy Stack.

Approximately 50% of Wye Oak, the multi-instrumentalist has worked on a number of esteemed projects, including material from Lambchop, Helado Negro, and EL VY.

New album 'Release The Dogs' lands on August 23rd via Merge Records, and it finds Andy Stack distilling his ideas into the form of Joyero.

Written and recorded primarily in Marfa, Texas, it's a curious record, one dominated by astute songwriting but also the pursuit of highly personal goals.

Clash caught up with Andy Stack to talk about the Influences that run through Joyero's work...

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Silver Jews - 'The Frontier Index'

I’ve learned so much from David Berman’s music, and and I’ll likely continue learning from it for as long as I live. His work feels hot to the touch, weirdly refracted since his death. I’ve been spending a lot of time with his new album and his old ones, finding some dark truths but also lots of humor and levity.

'The Frontier Index' was the first Silver Jews song I ever heard, and I was immediately drawn to the way he could be so direct and serious in his writing, like he was really saying something important, even as his songs were often filled with dumb punchlines: “A boy wants a car from his Dad/ Dad says first you gotta cut that hair / Son says Dad, Jesus had long hair and Dad says that’s right son, Jesus walked everywhere.”

All my favorite songwriters seem to have that schizophrenic trait in work: don’t take yourself too seriously, take yourself very seriously. Also, the guitar solo here is so great. It sounds like two trains are traveling in parallel, and then the tracks split, leaving the listener’s legs suspended in between the cars, stretching further apart to the point of agony.

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Mount Eerie - 'Pale Lights'

I love the way this recording folds in on itself. It’s so gutsy, and so genius, to basically just turn down the the volume knob the middle of a massive squall, and declare “Get out of the way, I’ve got something to say!”

As the listener, you’re still aware that the storm is raging outside, but Phil has let you into his room, into his inner thoughts. That’s how his music always feels to me: extremely intimate, at times gratuitously so. Intimacy and vulnerability were paramount themes for me on 'Release The Dogs', and as I wrote it, I held the music of Phil Elverum as a totem to remind myself of their power.

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Grouper - 'Heavy Water' / 'I’d Rather Be Sleeping'

I may have listened to this song more than any other in the last several years. It’s a blanket, a lullaby, a comfort in the deepest darkness and an affirmation in bright squinting sunlight. It perfectly complements any moment I find myself in.

As I write this, I’m at a loss to give any kind of technical or critical explanation for its greatness, but great it is.

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Fennesz - 'Endless Summer'

Fennesz is one of my favourite experimental musicians, a master of twisting up acoustic and other organic sounds into brilliant origami. His aesthetic was very forward in my mind as I was building the sonic universe of 'Release The Dogs'.

'Endless Summer' is beautiful and broken, simultaneously high art and also crumbling lo-fi. I love how he builds up these glitchy networks of sound, but at the foundation, you still feel like you're sitting alone with someone as they strum a guitar on their childhood bed, sunburned and lovelorn.

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Lambchop - 'The Hustle'

It’s been one of the great privileges of my life to get to join Lambchop for the last couple of record cycles. I can’t think of any other band which has gone through so many, and such pronounced, changes in sound, while still maintaining their defining character.

There’s no mistaking Lambchop for any other band, regardless of the musical framing of Kurt’s voice and Tony’s piano. It’s a real inspiration to see these guys continue to evolve, discard expectations and be unafraid to try something new each time they get to work.

'The Hustle' is, for me, the anthem for late-era Lambchop, an unhurried 18-minute trip which made me fall in love with the band all over again.

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'Release The Dogs' will be released on August 23rd. Catch Joyero at the following shows:

September
17 Glasgow The Hug and Pint
18 Leeds Headrow House

October
2 Manchester Band on the Wall
3 Bristol St. George
4 London Union Chapel

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