"Youth Moose" the new Spirit Plate record is here! Official release date: August 4, 2017
Inspired by New York City's rapid pace of change, decay and rebirth, and the dichotomy NYC presents of arriving at tranquility though chaos and clutter, "Youth Moose" is a complex collage of sound, delivered through gritty, succinct songs.
On "Youth Moose," Spirit Plate reacts to New York City as well as our greater globe through many sharp lenses. To initially gain inspiration for songs, the band closely observed and cataloged street art tattooed to Brooklyn buildings, some of which were scrawled decades ago and others part of the modern resurgence of murals, tags, and visible art everywhere from Bushwick to the Bronx (hence the title "Youth Moose," which in itself is a reference to a commonly seen NYC tag). As a result, there is as much of a nostalgic aspect to this record as there is forward-thinking. Songwriter Brian Russ has personally been living in, playing shows and recording music in Brooklyn for the past 12 years and "Youth Moose" has many reflections to offer from someone who can now safely call Brooklyn his home.
The record unfolds like a tarot card reading. It brings out your past (from the song "Everything's a Joke;" "do you remember when we would shoplift CDs?"). Examines your present (from the song "Open Automatic;" "I feel loved by a machine") and makes some predictions for your future (from the title track - "the times have surely changed on me, but hey man that's ok, cause I ain't gonna leave.").
This is a record also offering unavoidable political statements. And even though the songs were written a year or more before our presidential election results came in, they tell the tale of what was already and about to unfold, with lyrics peppered throughout reminding us of the dangerous and toxic times we live in:
"Every phone call, every conversation traced..."
"I can't sleep, if 'I can't breathe' is not a reason to back the fuck off."
"Every witness can't be sure what they saw..."
"All across the USA temperatures are rising, ain't nobody dancing in the streets, mostly they're just hiding and afraid."
Recorded with no budget, mostly live in a tiny warehouse rehearsal space in the industrial section of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, the base of "Youth Moose" is full of gravel and grime and honestly captures the vibe of 6 people coming together to bring an artistic vision into fruition - right in the moment.
The raw tracks from the warehouse were taken into Brian Russ' home studio (aka, tiny apartment) and meticulously mixed and mastered, with the goal of bringing a polish and a sense of clarity to the dizzying array of live mics, bleed, room noise and unbalanced tracks. Being a dad with two small kids and with a day job as a middle school teacher in tow, Brian carved away at this record on nights, weekends and holidays. An hour here, an hour there. Slowly but steadily, Brian fussed over every detail possible to bring out the final mix. "Youth Moose" is a real labor of love, created by New York artists who have no choice but to create music in order to face this confusing city, this confusing country, and this fragile planet that we live on.
Paying homage to visionary New York City artist such as The Velvet Underground, Talking Heads, and Swans, Spirit Plate shines a light on the past and hopes to present a lasting statement for the future in "Youth Moose."