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ARTIST
TITLE
Shroud
FORMAT
LP

LABEL
CATALOG #
UTR 058LP UTR 058LP
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
8/6/2013

Limited edition of 500 copies and pressed on 180 gram vinyl. Chester Endersby Gwazda is a 28 year-old producer and musician living in Baltimore, Maryland. First earning his stripes by driving around the U.S. like a latterday Lomax, recording countless bands out of his car/studio for food and lodging, Chester has since become one of underground rock's most inspired and in-demand producers. With acts like Dan Deacon, Future Islands, Cloud Nothings, Ed Schrader's Music Beat, and Air Waves having all recorded breakthrough records with Gwazda, his credentials stack up to the ceiling. Immersed in Baltimore's lively music scene, Chester has also found himself as a sought-after live player, performing synth and bass duties for the Dan Deacon Ensemble and in Nuclear Power Pants. However, only in this last year or so has Chester tracked down his musician's shadow, addressing his own artistic sensibility for once with his swift, deeply serene songs, packed out with irrepressible melody. Chester began quietly writing and recording an ever-growing personal catalog of pop-centric gems amidst his busy schedule realizing the visions of others. These songs have grown into his debut album, Shroud. With Shroud, not only do we finally get a glimpse of Gwazda the songwriter, but we finally see the producer totally off the leash. The album is full of vocal harmonies, meticulous arrangements and precise timbres that bespeak his sensitive ear and fascination with pop music. Opener "World Killer" is a paean to green-think set to stammering synths, digital guitar and a soaring vocal. "Globes" unfurls with a gloriously trippy percussion loop, before softly spun-out chords and a luxuriantly sunny vocal haul it into perfect sense. "Skewed" sees Chester harmonize with himself over a cyclical song of mechanized drones, drum machine euphorics and one of the best accelerating synth solos ever. "Another Life" lets Chester showcase his ease with subtlety, too, pinned down by just a leaping series of guitar chords and Chester's effortless voice. Only the deftest blush of brass and tremulous keyboard touch are used to color the song, emphasizing his meticulous attitude and respect for pop simplicity. Shroud concludes with "Changing Your Life," a cover of the Future Islands' song. Given an almost Laurie Anderson-meets-Arthur Russell echo treatment, the track revels in the moment, calling the album to a close, dipped in saturated '60s harmonies and exultant bliss.