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6 years ago140 views


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Cinematographer: Chris O'Konski

The term "Cinematic Americana" is like a nicely wrapped birthday present.
You know there's going to be something good, you just have to unwrap the gift and see what sort of treats lie inside." writes Boston Band Crush about song-slinger Alec Gross' Strip the Lanterns, his debut 11-track LP whose songs detail a somewhere America that is at once familiar, but ultimately troubled. "What Strip The Lanterns does is it makes all the non-cinematic Americana just look bad by comparison." Armed with a killer album, and a live show that juxtaposes heavy, swamp-drenched laments with beautifully vulnerable acoustic admissions, all topped with soaring and effortless vocals that leave audiences converted, Alec is poised to make some very big impressions in the coming year.

Alec isn't your typical 'diary' singer songwriter- his songs are populated
by characters and the rooms they move through. The full album title for
Alec's latest work is, "Strip The Lanterns: The Night Terrors of Mr. Ron Avery", and the songs of this album are, in fact, the recurring night visions of the album's fictional protagonist, Ron Avery, a mid-western gas station attendantwho is tormented by his mediocrity and the shadows of what could have been. The carefully constructedcharacters and story lines of these songs are set to hauntingly beautiful musical soundscapes that move beyond the acoustic guitars and plaintive vocals typical of Americana and Alt. Country, and are augmented by unexpected blasts of raw, Stax-era R&B. All are graced by Alec's soaring but vulnerable tenor, which has been described as being "so perfectly suited to the times" and "superbly bold".

Recorded at Williamsburg, Brooklyn's Mission Sound in 2010, Strip The Lanterns boasts organic arrangements and performances by some of NYC's best musicians, all produced by Greg Barbone, Alec Gross, and Will Hensley. Mr. Hensley (Cold Play, John Mayer, KT Tunstall) also served as the album's engineer, expertly recording the tracks before handing them off to be mixed by Ryan Hewitt (Johnny Cash, The Avett Bros, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Cat Power) and mastered by Alex Saltz (REM, Elvis Costello, David Bowie, Steven Van Zandt).

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