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WOODSIST / MARE

Liam Kazar

Due North

    Liam Kazar makes joyful rock songs so irresistible they feel timeless. Just ask Jeff Tweedy. “I love everything about Liam. His voice, his songs, the way he plays instruments, his smile, his cooking... Everything,” says Tweedy. ”Whenever I hear one of his songs for the first time I almost immediately start thinking to myself, ‘oh yeah! This song! I love this song.’ It’s a magic trick very few people can pull off: making something brand new sound like a cherished memory.” But on Kazar’s debut album Due North, out via Woodist and Mare Records, the album’s ten tracks are full of so much charm, wit, and heart it can’t be a sleight of hand.

    The Kansas City-based, Chicago-raised musician and acclaimed chef / founder of the Armenian pop-up restaurant Isfahan, describes the making of Due North as a personal revelation, where the more he wrote the more his songs showed what kind of artist he’s always wanted to be. While he’s consistently been a dream bandmate over the past several years, performing with artists like Tweedy, Steve Gunn, Daniel Johnston, and more, making his own songs presented a chance to finally find his own voice. But figuring out how to step out was a rewarding challenge. “This record kind of all stemmed from a conversation I had with Jeff,” says Kazar. “I showed him some of my earliest songs I was working on and he told me, ‘It sounds like you’re writing for the people in your bands, you’re not writing for yourself.’ He was completely right. I was not writing songs for myself.” With that needed insight, Kazar decided to start from scratch and write songs that felt like himself. “These songs totally blew me away the first time I heard them: they sound like David Bowie meets the Band,” says Mare Records co-founder Kevin Morby. Due North was mixed by Sam Evian at his Flying Cloud Recordings Studio in upstate New York. Along with drummer Spencer Tweedy and bassist Lane Beckstrom, Kazar enlists keyboardist Dave Curtin (Woongi), co-producer James Elkington on pedal steel, as well as Ohmme and Andrew Sa on backing vocals.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. So Long Tomorrow
    2. Old Enough For You
    3. Shoes Too Tight
    4. Nothing To You
    5. On A Spanish Dune
    6. Frank Bacon
    7. I?ve Been Where You Are
    8. No Time For Eternity
    9. Give My World
    10. Something Tender

    Anna St. Louis

    First Songs

      Despite her last name, Anna St. Louis was born and raised in Kansas City. She grew up a painter and singing in punk bands, eventually leaving her hometown to attend art school in Philadelphia. After graduating she made the move to Los Angeles where she began teaching herself guitar, writing songs and recording them on her own in her bedroom.

      First Songs is the sound of someone discovering their talent in real time—a peak into the collage of a wonderful mind that is absorbing their new surroundings and using new tools to put them into the room. Listening to this collection you can feel the sun coming in through the window—St. Louis on the foot of the bed with a guitar on her knee, finding her voice. She wears her influences well—think Patsy Cline singing over John Fahey—but has a style all her own. And while one can take the artist out of the midwest, one can’t take the midwest out of the artist—so let this be known: this is Midwestern music ran through a California filter. Anna St. Louis will have many more releases in her lifetime, but let it all begin here—First Songs. “a low dangling cigarette of psychedelic folk.”

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Wind-Up
      2. Evermore
      3. 288
      4. Keep Walking
      5. Mercy
      6. Stray
      7. Sun
      8. Fire


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