Spiral Stairs

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LPs
  • The Real Feel - ole-858 - 2009-10-20

Biography

The Real Feel

The Real Feel
ole-858 LP/CD/DA 

Street Date: October 20, 2009

 


Former frontman of Preston School Of Industry and founding member ofPavement, Scott Kannberg returns with his first solo album, The Real Feel, credited to his long-running nom-du-rock, Spiral Stairs.

"I guess that's my name now," he laughs. "It had been so long since the last Preston School Of Industry album, it made sense to call this a Spiral Stairs record. Everyone knows me as Spiral, it's weird when someone calls me 'Scott'. I'm not sure anyone knows who Scott Kannberg is."

Despite the pseudonym, however, The Real Feel is Spiral's most personal and honest recording yet, the songs' loose, late-night vibe, soulful ache and charmingly vulnerable optimism shaped by his experiences in the years between the last Preston School Of Industry album, 2004's Monsoon, and today. 

It's an album heavy with haunted blues and bruised soul, with a soused late-night ambience that perfectly fits both its scuffed and sad-eyed ballads, and its more strident rockers.

'Wharf-Hand Blues', closing the first side, is a standout, with stricken slide guitar and ghostly backing vocals, and Spiral's smouldering, sad refrain of "What was wrong for you / might've been right for me"; the lyrical, pedal steel-gilded country of 'A Mighty Mighty Fall' is a sunnier glide, and easily charms. Foot-stomping opener 'True Love' and the brooding, blistering 'Subiaco Shuffle' rock out with the ragged glory of Neil Young and his Crazy Horse, unkempt and heartfelt, while the sunshine jangle of 'Cold Change' offers more of the lilting, beguilingly-unkempt pop Spiral's spent a career perfecting.

"Friends tell me they weren't expecting it to sound the way it does," says Spiral. "It's been a few years since the last album, and I've heard a lot more music in that time that I've been influenced by. I was listening to Richard Thompson's Shoot Out The Lights, and mid-period Fleetwood Mac, and Bob Dylan records from when he was in his mid- to late-thirties. I was listening to those records at home, with my guitar in my hands, and thinking, I want to write songs with that same weird vibe."

While the album sounds like the work of a group camped out in the studio together way past midnight, the recording sessions actually spanned months and oceans. Spiral first recorded the bare tracks with some of his former bandmates in PSOI, including bassist Matt Harris and drummer Darius Minwalla, before hooking up with friend and fellow Seattle-ite Jon Auer (The Posies, Big Star), who helped Spiral record further overdubs and background vocals, and added touches of organ and mellotron to the proceedings.

Next, Spiral took the tapes with him to Australia – where, of late, he's been spending his winters – and recorded further instrumentation and backing vocals with friends out there. (He has become so enamored with Down Under that he will soon be emigrating there, and marrying his Australian fiancé).

Spiral ascribes the five year delay between Monsoon and The Real Feel to the personal upheavals he experienced after touring the last Preston School Of Industry album, experiences which fed the mood and lyrics of these new songs.

"I split up with my wife," he says, "and went through some dark times here in Seattle. I had some songs written, but I just never really got out of my doldrums enough to get it together. It's weird how five years can go by so quick: a lot of shit went on."

Spiral wrote the songs for The Real Feel during this period, in Seattle and in Australia. "I was just playing music with these guys, making up these songs. It's a more personal record than I've made before; they've all been personal, but this one's pretty dark. The song material was very emotional, all about what's been going on with me. I knew that I wanted to deal with what was going on, what with my break-up, and the lost years after that. I wanted to deal with that in the songs."

The result is an album that's dark and potent, vulnerable and unflinchingly honest. Spiral describes it as having an "Australian" sound, and says it reminds him of the Bad Seeds and the Go-Betweens. Cathartic and uplifting, it's the sound of Spiral making sense with that which makes no sense, making peace with his demons, and celebrating the life that follows. Certainly, despite the emotions that fuelled the record, making The Real Feel was an experience that proved entirely positive for Spiral.

"I think this is the best record I've ever made," he says. "I spent so long on it that, once I finally listened back to the completed record, it was exactly how I wanted it all to be; that was a good feeling. There were moments in the last five years when I thought I didn't want anything to do with music anymore… But you hear a good record, and it pumps you back into it again. It takes a lot to make a record, but it feels so great, and makes me want to make another, real quick."

News From The Matablog

Pavement Rehearsal Update



spiral here from the pavement. we are about to embark on our very ambitious world tour in a couple days. march 1 is the first date and it's in a place very special to our hearts... new zealand. we've got the great 3d's opening so it's gonna be a legendary night. we then travel across the tasman sea to my future country of residence, australia (i'm actually writing this to you from brisbane where i'm spending a few days torturing my fiance and her family practicing the songs before the tour starts). speaking of practice, we recently had two good weeks of practice in portland. it was the first time some of us had been in the same room together for close to 10 years. i think we all were a little nervous. it started off pretty rough, except for our drummer who probably practiced the most. but... by the time we had finished, most of the 40 plus songs we had rehearsed were sounding pretty good. we're really looking forward to the year ahead and seeing all the fans out there digging the music makes it all worthwhile. so thank you for buying tickets. we've also got the cool 'qtp' best of comp coming out march 9. it was compiled by the band and includes all our faves from the catalog.



also... thanks to all for buying the spiral stairs record. i'm planning some shows in the new year in between the pavement maelstrom. we're set to play all tomorrow's parties in the uk and maybe some others around those festival dates. as for north america, look for shows in june or july in the midwest and east coast.

in the meantime, enjoy these photos from portland...

http://www.crookedrain.comĀ  http://www.spiralstairsmusic.com







Spiral Stairs - "Cold Change" video premiere

AOL Spinner brings us the second video (here is the first) from Spiral Stairs and director Jess Carfield. Spiral's awesome new album, The Real Feel, is available for purchase here.

Spiral Stairs live on KUSF today, 7 PM EDT/4 PM PDT

[caption id="attachment_6557" align="alignnone" width="292" caption="(photo by Peter Ellenby)"](photo by Peter Ellenby)[/caption]

Tune in to KUSF this afternoon for a special solo live performance by the one and only Spiral Stairs at 4 PM Pacific/7 PM Eastern. San Franciscans can listen at 90.3 FM, while those in the wider world web can point their internet machine to kusf.org.

Spiral Stairs - "Stolen Pills" video

Today we have the privilege of unveiling the first video from Spiral Stairs' The Real Feel, out October 20 and available for pre-order here.

The song is "Stolen Pills," and the video was directed by Jess Carfield.


Don't forget, you can stream the entire record at Think Indie right now, and it's GREAT, no JK maybe the most "spun" album in the office right now.

And there are a few tour dates left (I hear Spiral is selling the album on the road!):

October
Friday 	16	Portland, OR 	Doug Fir Lounge w/Bob Mould 	
Sunday 	18	San Francisco, CA 	Treasure Island Fest 	
Monday 	19	Los Angeles, CA 	Troubadour w/Bob Mould 	
Tuesday 	20	Solano Beach, CA 	Belly Up Tavern w/Bob Mould 

Spiral Stairs live on KEXP at 12Noon PDT/3PM EDT

Spiral Stairs

Yep, in just over 90 short minutes, Spiral Stairs will be performing live on the illustrious KEXP in Seattle. Scott Kannberg and band will be sure to highlight jams from the new album, The Real Feel, out next week. Also, if you're in the 206, and you missed their in-store last night at Sonic Boom Ballard, you can still catch them tonight at Neumo's playing with the lovely Bob Mould. And, as always, KEXP is heard locally at 90.3FM and online at KEXP.org.

Pre-blog News

NEWS

Pavement Rehearsal Update



spiral here from the pavement. we are about to embark on our very ambitious world tour in a couple days. march 1 is the first date and it's in a place very special to our hearts... new zealand. we've got the great 3d's opening so it's gonna be a legendary night. we then travel across the tasman sea to my future country of residence, australia (i'm actually writing this to you from brisbane where i'm spending a few days torturing my fiance and her family practicing the songs before the tour starts). speaking of practice, we recently had two good weeks of practice in portland. it was the first time some of us had been in the same room together for close to 10 years. i think we all were a little nervous. it started off pretty rough, except for our drummer who probably practiced the most. but... by the time we had finished, most of the 40 plus songs we had rehearsed were sounding pretty good. we're really looking forward to the year ahead and seeing all the fans out there digging the music makes it all worthwhile. so thank you for buying tickets. we've also got the cool 'qtp' best of comp coming out march 9. it was compiled by the band and includes all our faves from the catalog.



also... thanks to all for buying the spiral stairs record. i'm planning some shows in the new year in between the pavement maelstrom. we're set to play all tomorrow's parties in the uk and maybe some others around those festival dates. as for north america, look for shows in june or july in the midwest and east coast.

in the meantime, enjoy these photos from portland...

http://www.crookedrain.com? http://www.spiralstairsmusic.com







Spiral Stairs – “Cold Change” video premiere

AOL Spinner brings us the second video (here is the first) from Spiral Stairs and director Jess Carfield. Spiral's awesome new album, The Real Feel, is available for purchase here.

Spiral Stairs live on KUSF today, 7 PM EDT/4 PM PDT

[caption id="attachment_6557" align="alignnone" width="292" caption="(photo by Peter Ellenby)"](photo by Peter Ellenby)[/caption]

Tune in to KUSF this afternoon for a special solo live performance by the one and only Spiral Stairs at 4 PM Pacific/7 PM Eastern. San Franciscans can listen at 90.3 FM, while those in the wider world web can point their internet machine to kusf.org.

Spiral Stairs – “Stolen Pills” video

Today we have the privilege of unveiling the first video from Spiral Stairs' The Real Feel, out October 20 and available for pre-order here.

The song is "Stolen Pills," and the video was directed by Jess Carfield.


Don't forget, you can stream the entire record at Think Indie right now, and it's GREAT, no JK maybe the most "spun" album in the office right now.

And there are a few tour dates left (I hear Spiral is selling the album on the road!):

October
Friday 16 Portland, OR Doug Fir Lounge w/Bob Mould 
Sunday 18 San Francisco, CA Treasure Island Fest 
Monday 19 Los Angeles, CA Troubadour w/Bob Mould 
Tuesday 20 Solano Beach, CA Belly Up Tavern w/Bob Mould

Spiral Stairs live on KEXP at 12Noon PDT/3PM EDT

Spiral Stairs

Yep, in just over 90 short minutes, Spiral Stairs will be performing live on the illustrious KEXP in Seattle. Scott Kannberg and band will be sure to highlight jams from the new album, The Real Feel, out next week. Also, if you're in the 206, and you missed their in-store last night at Sonic Boom Ballard, you can still catch them tonight at Neumo's playing with the lovely Bob Mould. And, as always, KEXP is heard locally at 90.3FM and online at KEXP.org.

Music & Video

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XMyOH4Rnweg