Monday, September 17, 2007

The Ivori Palms

Peter and the Wolf is Red Hunter from Austin, TX. In 2006 he released Lightness, one of my favorite local releases of the past few years. While on a six-week tour this past Spring he brought along a brief tour-only album called Fireflies, and he has just made available a new album called The Ivori Palms.

The album opens with a reworked version of "Where Summer Goes," one of the handful of tracks he recorded for Daytrotter on a rainy day during SXSW. "Scarlet And Grey" follows, using nothing but a few piano keys and some hand-claps to create a soulful ballad that reminisces on lost love. "The Bike Of Jonas" is the album's most experimental number, as Hunter crafts a bouncing, rhythmic tempo while playing another one of those of those peculiar instruments that he is so fond of. This one is a kalimba, a musical instrument from Africa that is often referred to as a thumb piano.
Most of The Ivori Palms was written throughout June and August of this summer while Red Hunter was secluded in the small town of Peterborough, Canada. Armed with little more than an old typewriter, an electric lantern and a borrowed bicycle, Hunter's songwriting revolves around his time spent in this humble paradise. He says:
"The room where I would keep to myself all summer was in a barely-standing 100 year-old building. The power outlets didn't work so I had to discretely run an extension chord downstairs to the music store when using my only piece of equipment: a borrowed 8-track recorder. And I wasn't supposed to be there, of course, which meant working all night by the light of the lantern and going out to sleep in the park during the day under mostly clear summer skies. It was heaven. I was cash-low but I strutted around town like I owned the place; I felt like the richest dude in the world."
This setting made for a serene album that fans of his previous work will surely enjoy. The title track is one of the album's finest, and it is playing at myspace along with the eerie "Ghost Sandals." Other standout tracks include "Better Days", "Southern Moon" and "Check Out The River."
The tracklist and liner notes for The Ivori Palms are below, and you can order it directly from here. You can get more Peter and the Wolf at, and if you're in Austin make sure to checkout the CD release party at the Mohawk on September 23rd.

Recorded mostly in private by Redding Hunter at the condemned warehouse where he lived/worked this summer, The Ivori Palms gets its name from a dream Hunter had in which he was complaining to his hero, Dan Eldon, about life as a squatter and Eldon replied, "You're not squatting, man, you're staying at The Ivori Palms," at which point a sign appeared just outside the broken window with pink neon lights and palm trees (which Hunter awoke and attempted to recreate in the top left corner of the cover photo.)
8 songs mixed with Jonas Bonnetta at Shuffling Feet Studios, Peterborough.
3 songs recorded by Bill Baird at Big Orange Studios, Austin.
3 songs recorded live on laptop mic with Austin choir at Josh Duke's pad.
All songs mastered by Steve Chevez at Moonshine Studios, Los Angeles.
(note, some early preorders may have songs in a different order)

1. Where Summer Goes
2. Scarlet and Grey
3. Check Out The River
4. Ghost Sandals (live)
5. Waiting For A Train
6. Southern Moon
7. The Bike of Jonas
8. The Ivori Palms
9. A Hundred Days
10. The Lighthouse
11. Better Days
12. The Beggar's Waltz
13. The Traveler and the County Boys
14. Sparks (live)