Damn Tall Buildings Set Album Release Show at Rockwood Music Hall
Damn Tall Buildings independently released their 3rd album, Sleeping Dogs, on September 9. Bluegrass, roots rock, old time and vintage swing are among the influences of this American acoustic trio.
Whether sharing lead vocals and instrumental solos or blending their vocals in loose, joyful harmony, the three members of Damn Tall Buildings – multi-instrumentalist and lead lyricist Max Capistran (guitar and banjo), bassist Sasha Dubyk and violinist Avery Ballotta – revel in entertaining. For a handful of tracks on the album, they brought in special guests on trumpet, drums, flutes, lap steel and keys to add to their dynamic sound.
Sleeping Dogs is a bop about facing the facts and is basically about how it’s become nearly impossible not to be constantly influenced by the news, the media, and all the other things around you. your daily life.
Damn Tall Buildings produced and recorded the disc themselves, between Sasha’s parents’ home on the South Jersey Shore and Max and Sasha’s apartment in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. After recording, they sent their tracks to Dan Cardinal [Darlingside, Lula Wiles, Josh Ritter] at Dimension Sound Studios in Jamaica Plain, MA to mix and master. Dan also played keyboards on the title track, adding to the song’s texture.
Max says, “By taking over the recording process, we were able to set up our studio wherever we wanted, which completely changed the recording process for us…With this new arrangement, we were able to really take our time, which gave us more freedom to really explore the songs without the pressure of running out of studio days. We all love the beach and the ocean and the surf so we moved home right in the middle of hurricane season in the northeast so we were literally making catches and then running to the beach to catch some some of the best waves New Jersey has to offer. I’m pretty sure Hurricane Larry deserves co-producer credits, actually.
The album opens with “What A Nice Life”, which has a little extra pep to balance out the darker lyrics of “I-don’t-know-who-I-am-anymore”: “And I feeling very lonely now that winter is coming… I don’t know who I’ve been lately… But God can hardly stand me.” This is followed by an old “Dark Window Panes”, in which they reflect on an impending apocalypse, accompanied by longtime friend and sound maestro Garrett Eaton. [Dana Williams, Gracie and Rachel] on the trumpet.
“Podcast” was created by Under the Radar who wrote, “With ‘Podcast,’ the band leans more into their sunlit harmonies, sturdy instrumentation and spirited performances…they deliver deliciously biting lyrics, taking photos of entertainment industry complacency as the world rushes to its end: “Sleeping on the floor/Thinking you’re so deep/Your podcast sucks and I think I hate you…Your biography says that you’re an artist/Filter all your trash/You know what you’re even saying?'”
The velvety and rejuvenating “Cold Rain” was created by Americana UK who calls it “resolutely music from Now”. For the song, they’re joined by mandolin wizard Dylan McCarthy (a longtime DTB collaborator and 2019 Rockygrass Mandolin champion) and rock-steady drummer Micah Cowher. [STOMP in NYC]. Cowher also sets the pace for the catchy “Sweet Girl,” with its chorus, “I’m not myself, I’m everyone,” which has become what the band calls, “the record’s motto; c is basically our new anthem.”
Damn Tall Buildings calls Sleeping Dogs, “an exploration deep within to find out who we really are…maybe it really is as simple as buying new shoes and feeling really good about wearing them.” as you walk down the block on the sunny side of the street.”
You can hear this joyous feeling resonating in the deep groove and colorful melodies of “Lemons”, in which Anh Phung’s virtuoso flute playing [Twisted Pine] elevates the song to a new level. This fresh energy can also be felt when the sun creeps over “Patio”.
The mid-tempo mix “Painter” exemplifies a re-emergence in the world, with a newfound sense of self with its lyrics – “But I got new shoes baby, and I feel so good… And it feels like we’ve got blue skies, honey, coming down the line.” Lars Thorson [Kane Brown]adjunct member of DTB from the start, brings the magic of lap steel to this track.
They slow things down a bit in an ode to expectation, “Quietly Heartbreaking,” written on a beautiful rainy day, and the sweet “My Baby.” Avery wrote “My Baby” for his partner in life and music (and soon-to-be wife), Emily Gervaise Moran [Aurora Birch]; hearing his guitar sing on the bridge really does come full circle in sound and spirit.
The album ends with the title track, “Sleeping Dogs”, taken from the old proverb – “Don’t let sleeping dogs lie” – the song emphasizes the theme of the album: don’t ignore life, get out. and live it, have fun and make sense of the little things that keep us all connected and growing.
The trio come individually from all over the United States (New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Montana), but were born as a band while attending Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA in 2013. They started as buskers on Newbury Street in Boston, began touring nationally, then moved the band to Brooklyn in 2017. Max says, “Brooklyn has a never-ending influence on our music. Yemeni music on iPhone speakers at the grocery store. African guitar rhythms on the way to the train. It’s crazy. We love it.”
Since their days on the streets, they’ve released two albums – Cure-All (2014) and Don’t Look Down (2019) – and released a self-titled EP in 2015. The band’s music has been praised by publications such as Bluegrass Today. , PopMatters, The Boot, Saving Country Music, The Boston Globe, The Alternate Root, Folk Radio UK and more.
Damn Tall Building says, “Our innate desire is to connect with people on a level that goes beyond day-to-day interaction. Our hope is that the joy this music brings us will somehow be passed on to the people who listen. , can then take with them to pass on to someone else. It’s a shared celebration of positive energy, and it’s what keeps us cooking.