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For our 2016 sophomore album, we decided to explore territory that’s a bit more personal than that of our debut, 2011’s “The Ballad of Shorty Long.” The result is like a heart wrapped in barbed-wire, equally tough and tender. To some, this album is likely to read as a departure — and yet, many of these songs have been with us since the early days of the band. We prefer to think of “Crooked House” as a reveal of sorts, showcasing an introspective side we weren’t able to capture on our debut.
Each of the 13 tracks on “Crooked House” was refined through live-performance over the course of a couple of years, with a lineup featuring founding members Eric Hartley (guitar/vox), Mazus Graves (guitar/vox), and Andy Jenson (bass), as well as newcomer Adam Karleskint on drums.
The time we invested in gigging with these songs resulted in some sturdy arrangements, as well as a palpable group-chemistry when we played them. We recorded “Crooked House” in a way which attempts to duplicate that live vibe, and to respect the simple power of the live arrangements — with just a bit of mixdown-magic used to heighten the overall experience.