They Kind Of Shine

TR 166CD TR 166CD

This is the third full-length album by multi-instrumentalist Paul Hiraga aka Downpilot. Downpilot has given the music world two albums of lush and atmospheric pop in collaboration with producer Tucker Martine (R.E.M., The Decemberists, Laura Veirs), with influences as diverse as Americana rock, ambient electronica and jazz. Their first full-length album, Leaving Not Arriving, garnered shining reviews from Rolling Stone, Harp, No Depression, amongst others, and their 2006 follow-up, Like You Believe It, was named "Best Local Album of the Year" by Seattle's influential arts weekly The Stranger. Always curious and looking for new ways to express his musical vision, Hiraga delved into the technical world of classic studio electronics in order to actually construct wire-by-wire most of the vintage-based analog recording gear that would soon capture the sounds on the album he subsequently produced for The Wedding Present bassist Terry de Castro (A Casa Verde). Hiraga's multi-instrumental musicianship and engineering artistry (as well as contributing two songs) have since earned praise in the UK (8/10 stars in NME). This new audio laboratory was then put to work in the creation and recording of They Kind Of Shine. Drawing some individualistic inspiration from the first Paul McCartney solo albums (on which the former Beatle played nearly every instrument himself), Hiraga embarked on a private studio exploration that has many songs performed entirely by himself on acoustic/electric/lap steel guitars, drums and percussion, acoustic and electric piano, humming old Farfisas and Hammonds and creaky old pump organs, with an occasional banjo and ukulele thrown in for flavor. Long-time band mate Jeff Brown contributes rich background vocal support, and cameos by former Posies drummer Mike Musburger, pedal steel master Maggie Bjorklund and Tucker Martine contribute to the remarkably cohesive band sound. The result is a rich acoustic-electric-chamber-pop-roots-Americana-rock-country album that doesn't really hold on to any of those simplistic labels, but is completely timeless. Soaring, accomplished singer/songwritership imbued with rich harmonies and alt. country swagger.