Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hail the Boy Genius

The latest post from the POP! Stereo Treasure Trove comes to us from Boy Genius.

Jason Korenkiewicz began writing songs in 2006 for a two-man acoustic project tentatively called Boy Genius. One night at a party someone declared them ‘neither boys, nor geniuses’ and the name was solidified.

Their first two EPs and debut album, Anchorage, were all recorded in Brooklyn, NY with engineer Josh Clark at Seaside Lounge. Clark had just finished working with Beirut and the New Pornographers and his ability to capture horns, multi-layered vocals and a wide array of instruments made him a great match for Boy Genius. Within days of releasing Anchorage, however, the band (now Jason on guitar and vocals, Marisa Cerio on lead guitar, Lisa Klimkiewicz on drums and backing vocals, and Jeff Mensch on bass) decided that legendary producer/musician Mitch Easter would be the person to work with on their second album. Known best for his work with bands like R.E.M., Pavement, Superchunk, Dinosaur Jr, the dBs and Velvet Crush, Easter’s pop sensibility and distinctive recording style seemed a perfect fit for Boy Genius. They began sending him demos and, within a few months, Easter agreed to produce their second album, Staggering.

From its inception, the goal with Staggering was to craft an album tailor-made for vinyl that would both glorify the format and preserve the history of the LP. It was conceived in sequence as two sides of a full-length record, each with its own distinct beginning, middle and end. Staggering was recorded over the course of 11 days at Easter’s fantastic Fidelitorium in Kernersville, NC. The collaboration with Easter proved to be a revelatory experience for the band, allowing them to build on the power of their live room recordings with subtle musical flourishes and layers of sound. The album was recorded on tape, mixed to tape and mastered directly from tape to the lacquers that press vinyl albums. While the decision to rely heavily on tape proved arduous at points, the result is an album that has all the warmth and charm of a classic vinyl pop record. For this reason Staggering is available only on vinyl.

Download: Old New England

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