Mea Culpa: My preview of the Glorytellers show this Sunday at the Black Cat has become old news. In my write-up, I lament that the band has this damn fine batch of songs but has yet to find a label to put them out.
Turns out the Glorytellers now have a label.
“[The album] is going to come out on Southern,” Farina told us. “It just got put together in the last couple weeks.” He adds that the album will come out in Europe in mid-January and in the U.S. a month later.
“I’ve been working on it for almost three years from beginning to write the songs to the end,” Farina explains. “We kind of held out for the right situation. There’s some new people at Southern that are really psyched about it.”
The Southern people should be. The songs posted on the band’s MySpace page recall vintage Jim O’Rourke pillow talk (“Awake at the Wheel”). “Tears Of” could be the most beautiful song Farina ever wrote. And “Trovato Suono” is just complicated fun.
The songs, Farina says, particularly the tricky interplay between guitars, and finding new rhythms that weren’t so indie-rock “took a lot of trial and error. Musically that was the most difficult part—the rhythms—to set the songs to a new feel. I was listening to a little bit of Philip Glass and Steve Reich. I wanted to have a bit more of a counterpoint going on, working with two guitars.”
“All these songs I wrote—I guess two years ago—I wrote them all at once, I was at this little hunting cabin in Italy where my wife is from,” Farina says. “I could go up there, just nothing going on, no e-mail, no phone and take a lot of time to really work long term, work all day on one song. I like to do that at least once a year.”
So what should people expect at a Glorytellers show?
“I don’t know,” Farina says.
“We sound more like a jazz band, super intimate-sounding I think,” Farina explains after some prodding. “That’s probably the best way to describe it, I think. It’s all songs from this band, all songs that are going to appear on our record.”
“This is our second tour. This one has been a lot better. The things I noticed about it— when it’s good, when everybody’s listening in the room, it could be this really delicate thing,” Farina says. “When it’s bad and when we’re at a bar, and everyone’s talking, it’s really bad where people can’t hear us. I’m used to playing in a rock band where you turn it up and blow everybody away…This one requires a bit more attention.”
So what do you with the loud talkers? “There’s not much you can do….We’re trying to get booked in the right venues, we’ve set more in art galleries instead of bars where there’s just people hanging out. We’re really trying to do spaces that are more event oriented. We would rather play for 20 people who really want to see us than 50 people who just want to sit around… It’s hard. Some towns don’t have venues like that.”
“I try to be a little tactful about it,” Farina adds. “I like to start the set with a positive feeling. I don’t want to tell people what to do. But I think what we’re doing is not as extreme as Fugazi or the Evens. We’re still playing bars.”
Including the Black Cat. “I’ve played there quite a few times,” Farina says. “It’s a good space for us I think.”