Happy Monday, banditos. This week we’ve got electro-pop with a twist from Sean Renner at a five-finger discount.
For most musicians, writing, performing, engineering and producing their own album would be accomplishment enough, but Sean Renner decided to make things more difficult.
Over the course of a month in 2012, Renner solicited sound bites from friends, family and fans, promising to incorporate each of them in his next album. He received over 30 clips, ranging from power tools to children to protest rallies. Again, slicing, dicing and julienning these clips into songs should be challenge enough, but no.
Renner also announced that he would write and record the sound-clip album in one week. The result is the aptly named “Seven Days.” One might rightly think that the novel feats making up the premise of this album would make the record a mere gimmick. The sound bites would be forced into tracks hastily written and recorded, but surprisingly this is not the case at all.
“Seven Days” has fourteen tracks (you do the math) that blend the electronic and the organic into a seamlessly lush sound at times reminiscent of Radiohead or trip-hop like Portishead. Perhaps by virtue of writing and recording it in one fit-like burst, there is a remarkable balance between consistency and diversity of sound throughout. To be sure, this is a cohesive album, but like albums used to be, each song is different yet clearly belongs in the collection.
Here, we leave you “Chicago” to steal, a track that builds a grove with handclapping and electric piano. Check out the rest of “Seven Days” on Renner’s Bandcamp page. Sean Renner will be performing on Feb. 27 at the Hi-Dive. He says he will be releasing a two-song EP soon, which he likely wrote and recorded over his lunch break using only vending machine sounds.
Please note that downloads offered via Steal This Track are intended to whet your appetite, and are NOT CD-quality recordings. If you want those, please support the artists by buying their music and/or seeing them live.
If you’re a band or musician ready to expose your fresh sounds to the readers of Reverb, email your tracks — along with any interesting facts about them, as well as a photo or album art — to Steal This Track for consideration.
Josh Johnson is a Denver freelance writer and Reverb contributor. He is also a co-host/co-producer of the Denver podcast Denver Diatribe.