Copies of Boerum Palace ordered from Thrill Jockey include the special pre-order only bonus CD "Too Early For The Hammer" (TLR-074) presenting new, scarce and previously unheard Gunn material that is not available seperately!
Steve Gunn’s prodigous talent for fusing traditional American song structures with a raga influence is almost criminally unheralded. Gunn’s songcraft is so strong and his playing style so effortlessly beautiful that folks should be shouting his name from every tall building and mountaintop. It is with such high esteem for the man’s work that Three Lobed Recordings is humbled by the association and thrilled to announce the release of “Boerum Palace” by Steve Gunn. Without any doubt, “Boerum Palace” is a staggering accomplishment and is certainly Gunn’s most assured and confident work to date.
Native Philadelphian Gunn has been a stalwart of the American experimental scene for closing in on a decade. He is known by many for his contributions as one half of the core duo behind GHQ (with Marcia Bassett) as well as for his many other affiliations with underground luminaries such as Tom Carter, the Magik Markers and Marc Orleans. Gunn has slowly cultivated his own solo work alongside his other obligations and involvements. After a few early CDR and cassette releases under the moniker “Moongang,” Gunn gravitated towards performing and releasing music in his own name, culminating in the exceptional “Sundowner” (Digitalis Industries, 2008). “Sundowner” was, to that point, the most potent burst of Gunn’s songwriting abilities and remarkable playing abilities. Following “Sundowner,” Gunn bunkered down to further hone his songwriting and “Boerum Palace” represents the overwhelming products of that effort.
“Boerum Palace” represents Steve Gunn’s first full-length release on vinyl and second album. The album starts off with a headlong rush into the hypnotic “Mr. Franklin”. Gunn’s fluid playing style, especially as portrayed within this track, provides ample space for the development of infectious musical themes. The track ends in a dextrous duel between Gunn’s guitar and guest Marc Orleans’ (of D. Charles Speer & the Helix, Sunburned Hand of the Man) vicious pedal steel. The album mixes Gunn’s long-form blues / raga / psych explorations alongside briefer cuts that equally display his songcraft. These tracks, such as “Variation II” and “Jadin’s Dream,” demonstrate that Gunn is equally confident with shorter or longer compositions. Gunn’s voice is joined by an ethereal turn from the Vanishing Voice’s Heidi Diehl on the album’s central and haunting “House of Knowledge.” The track opens with a building central guitar theme. This theme allows Gunn to layer on further guitar explorations. The tone set by these musical themes builds into the duo’s vocal delivery that delivers volumes despite being uttered in gentle tones. Other highlights include “Cryin’ Eyes,” an inspired reworking of J.J. Cale’s “Crying Eyes” featuring backing instrumentation from Marc Orleans, and the richly textured album finale “Mustapha’s Exit.”
“Boerum Palace” is pressed on 180gram RTI vinyl and housed within an old-style Stoughton sleeve bearing new original artwork from Mike Pare and some of Gunn’s photography. Also included is an insert. The album will be accompanied by a download coupon for high quality DRM-free MP3s of the album.
“Boerum Palace” is limited to a one-time pressing of approximately 800 copies