Blitzen Trapper, the teeming Portland, Oregon-based musical clan, are pleased to announce the impending arrival of their third brood of offspring--songs, that is--in the shape of an album called Wild Mountain Nation, to be self-released on June 12th.
From outerspace to down at the farm, campfire singalong to dystopic atonal deconstruction, Wild Mountain Nation presents a raucous and varied constellation of favorite souvenirs from the Trapper's musical adventures. Brought forth in a spasm of creative mania, Nation is rough-hewn but lush, crackling (sometimes audibly) with a weird and lucid energy. The album was recorded and arranged by the band themselves, using a dizzying variety of techniques and media, including a secret process learned from friendly extraterrestrials. As always, though, the group's trusty four-track was used to capture the "soul", "essence", or "kernel" of each song, which was then buried in a rich humus of articulation, embellishment, and attenuation, so that after the summer a nutritious, colorful variety of fresh music was drooping from the vine (so to speak). A rich harvest: dusty bones, sunrise, Philip K Dick, Guernica, barley wine, sycamore or doug fir, snowflake, Sally Mack's School of Dance, Scooby-Doo, bigfoot.
This litter will join BT's other children in what is now becoming a large family, remarkable for its beauty (scruffiness notwithstanding) and vibrant good health. Prior broods include an eponymous debut and 2005's Field Rexx, to say nothing of the unending stream of material released unmastered and with no fanfare direct to the web. Which begs the question:
How did the Trapper get so fertile?
Some claim it was the pureness of the air, youths spent wandering the hoary forests and high desert plateaus of their native Pacific NW, secrets learnt from Indian blood brothers. Others dismiss it all as the product of a machine. But the wise argue that it has to do with unusual circumstances surrounding Blitzen Trapper's inception as a group, which goes a little something like this:
The Trapper's six members began playing together long, long ago, in a time of great rains. At first, though, it was only by happenstance: two boys accidentally beating out a rhythm together on the slide at the neighborhood playground; adolescent dreams coinciding, colliding with guitars; the song of the woodtit and sparrow recorded and embellished with banjo for a science fair; a chance meeting on a haunted mountain in the Deep South. None of the group yet realized that they were Blitzen Trapper, nor would they for many years. But they recognized something in each other--Love? Hair?--that inexorably drew them together. By early 2000, this mysterious force had virtually bound the clan as one.
Now the songs in those days used to burst forth from their heads like an explosion of birds, which then had to be hunted down and captured in nets of magnetic tape. One evening on the slopes of the famous volcano, Mount Hood, as the group chased through the primeval forest and falling dusk for a song that had so far eluded them, something magical happened. Stumbling into a clearing in the wood, they came upon a shabby black drumkit, a star of eleven points emblazoned on its head, ferocious as a grizzly. Three microphone stands stood silhouetted against the gloom like the massive antlers of a buried beast. Surely this was a trick! But no, here was an old Silvertone amp; there a beat-up Rhodes. There were organs and couches and lamps and posters and a P-bass--in short, everything necessary for a band to comfortably create great rock music.
So they switched on the lights and warmed up the tubes and began to play, intentionally and together as a sextet for the first time. And the woodland creatures crept out to hear them, the elk and faun and marmot and grey squirrel and spider.
And the creatures were delighted.
This was still several years before the group finally became self-conscious of their identity as Blitzen Trapper, but from that night forth they have likewise delighted audiences of all ages, socioeconomic groups, and species with their unique musical blend of Zane Grey, darjeeling tea, candy-wrappers, and Choose Your Own Adventure. Though you may mistake them sometimes for can collectors or immigrant day labor, the group love you very, very much, and promise to slave away at the office day and night to keep Wild Mountain Nation and the other kids well-fed and tastefully attired. They will take only imitation fur, and will be involved dads and members of the community. They will buy you diamonds. They will do everything like they mean it.