Note: This is an add-on item for the "Reissues & Remnants" Box Set.
Son Lux and JNR go way back. We ﬁrst began working with the band in 2013 with the release of their seminal album Lanterns. Even though we are no longer their exclusive label, Son Lux were pretty foundational for us at JNR, and we still love collaborating with Ryan Lott and co. whenever we get the chance. So when the band recently asked us to reissue their ﬁrst two albums, along with a full LP of early unreleased tracks, naturally we jumped at the chance. And we invited them to come record an Almost Live session featuring material from said unreleased album, ‘Remnants’.
The song, titled “Whispering”, was recorded on Sunday December 23, 2018. Ryan happened to be in town for Christmas (his in-laws live in Indianapolis), and he made some time to come by the oﬃce and cut this solo track during his son’s nap-time. Using just piano and voice, Ryan chose to perform the song on our oﬃce’s less-than-fancy piano - which we immediately noticed had an absurdly squeaky sustain pedal. But when we reached for the WD-40, Ryan was like “No - I love that!” Rather than ﬁx the squeaky pedal, he chose to build the sound into his piece. A bold decision for such a fragile song, but it ended up working beautifully. His manager Michael remarked “it sounds like you’re playing in the bowels of a pirate ship.”
Ryan recorded four separate layers for this song, each of which were captured on the ﬁrst take. The entire session was ﬁnished within the hour. When I heard the completed song, I was awestruck. Each of the four separate arrangements blend so seamlessly together that they sound less like overdubs and more like one live track performed by a 40-ﬁngered man.
– Karl Hofstetter, Joyful Noise Recordings
- Recorded Live at Joyful Noise Recordings / December 23, 2018 by Postal Recordings: Tyler Watkins & Alex Kercheval. Mixed by Ryan Lott.