200g Vinyl Mastered by Bernie Grundman! Pressed at Quality Record Pressings! 100% Analog Project!
Crain’s songs are full of expansive melodies that veer off in unpredictable
directions, with lyrics that explore conflicting emotions with uncommon insight
and compassion. She has a jazz singer’s phrasing, often breaking words into
rhythmic fragments that land before and after the beat, stretching syllables or
adding grace notes to uncover hidden nuances in her lyrics.
The album is pressed on 200 Gram Vinyl at Quality Record Pressings. Produced by
John Vanderslice and mastered by Bernie Grundman, this is 100% an analog
recording... masters transferred directly from tape to lathe.
Under Branch & Thorn & Tree was recorded at Tiny Telephone Studios in San
Francisco, with John Vanderslice (The Mountain Goats, Spoon), who also helmed
last year’s Kid Face. “We recorded straight to two-inch tape on a Studer
24-track machine and mixed down to 1/2-inch tape on an Ampex machine. The
pre-amps were tube and we never used a computer. Our effects were done manually
through tape looping and manipulation. Most of the arrangements happened in the
moment, as we recorded. My guitar and vocals are all first or second takes.”
These intimate vignettes are marked by Crain’s careful attention to the tiny
details that often escape us, supported by the subtle musical settings she
crafted with Vanderslice and the backing musicians.
“I don’t write protest songs in the traditional sense,” Samantha Crain says,
talking about the songs on her new album, Under Branch & Thorn & Tree. “But I’m
always listening to the voices of people around me. These stories are told from
the perspective of the underdog, the 99% of us that are working people. They
might not be literal protest songs, but the lives of the people within these
songs speak at the same volume if you listen.”
Produced by John Vanderslice. Recorded and Mixed at Tiny Telephone Studio in San
Francisco, CA. Engineered and Mixed by John Vanderslice and Jacob Winik.
"On Under Branch & Thorn & Tree a folk base featuring assured, fingerpicked acoustic guitar remains prominent, but the arrangements are augmented with dark, mid-period Beatles atmospherics courtesy of the Magic Magic Orchestra (violin, viola, cello). Crain has called this her 'protest album,' and so it is." - David McGee, The Absolute Sound, 3.5/5 Music, 3.5/5 Sonics
"The golden gatefold cover art of Samantha Crain's Under Branch & Thorn & Tree makes clear that this is not a collection of "good times" tunes, but one is still left unprepared for the relentlessly bleak stories of betrayal, despair and desolation Crain delivers in an often pain-wracked voice that's somehow wrapped in a soothing, mesmerizing balm." - analogplanet, Music 9/11, Sound 9/11
• 200g Vinyl
• Pressed at Quality Record Pressings
• Mastered by Bernie Grundman
• 100% Analog Project
• Gatefold Jacket
• Includes full album download and exclusive bonus song "Cold Hands"
• Produced by John Vanderslice
3. Elk City
4. Outside the Pale
5. You Or Mystery
6. When You Come Back
7. Big Rock
8. All In
9. If I Had A Dollar
10. Moving Day