Posse's album Soft Opening already has the Northwest and everywhere else talking. Between emails, texts, and cables sent between music lovers, writers, editors, and music makers alike; there is something undeniably incredible about what the trio of Sacha Maxim, Paul Wittmann-Todd, & Jon Salzman have. With Soft Opening slated for release March 4 from Beating a Dead Horse Records (BADH), it already stands as another piece of the modern American indie canon that checks the releases from the rosters of labels like, Help Yourself and End of Time Records as contemporaries. On the premiere of “Interesting Thing No. 2”, get ready for groves of gorgeous guitars and vocals on another stellar gem from Seattle's latest mode of proliferation.
“Interesting Thing No. 2” opens up Soft Opening, and sets the tone with a strumming gallery set of guitars put to exchanges of thoughts and casual conversation. The interest between the soft sea of electric chords and the lyrical dialogues between Maxim and Wittmann-Todd capture the mind with experiences and expressions that 25 years plus of living and learning can show. And like the way those gently touched strings spring in the back and forth warmth, so do the call and response deliveries between Sacha and Paul. “I can see it by the desperate look you have—in your eyes. You turned 25 so many things you haven't tried, you said you thought I was boring”, Sacha begins, with Paul's response of, “maybe true”. The two keep the singing understated, but with a twinkle in the eye glimmer that they're on to something different and new. The honest and half-awake song presents the new possibilities of new-found and just realized discoveries. Different but similar existences are acknowledged through out Sacha Maxim's warm hearted appeal in the lines of, “but maybe baby it's a different thing with you,” “we leave at different times and get up in the same place” and the joys and pains shared between two people who are, “trying to be different, baby.” Let “Interesting Thing No. 2” begin your entrance into Soft Opening, a labor of love Posse described to us as the result of, “delay pedals, and 27 years of disappointment.”
The other night after band practice, Posse joined us for an intimate, roundtable discussion session.
From your 2012 self-titled, an EP of Smog covers, to Soft Opening; describe for us Posse's creative road of discoveries and determination.
We don't think we have much of a story. The first record was more of a, 'get in the studio and get it done' kind of thing. This one is more of a 'spend a year arguing' kind of thing.
“Interesting Thing No. 2”, this song is some guitar picking bit of instant genius. What was the trick of that whole making effortless sounding moving of a kind of levity that really is masterful, because you all make it look easy! Also not unlike what you all do on the sleepy headed but feisty, “Afraid”.
We had our own recording setup for this record, so we had time to wait for a decent take. That's probably why this record is a bit more laid back than the last one.
Tell us about the expressive dichotomies of placing two gorgeous, and semi-opposing songs with “Talk” and “Shut Up” next to each other.
We got a cheap laugh out of the differences in the names of the songs. We prefer to alternate between Sacha and Paul's vocals when possible, hence the track order.
You all have described Soft Opening as “songs are blankets designed with soft colors and graceful edges, made to lay over pits of anger and disappointment.” How do you all create this kind of mercurial sound?
Delay pedals, and 27 years of disappointment.
Can you all describe what has been happening in Seattle lately? It seems like you all are enjoying a power surging renaissance with the likes of Dude York, Chastity Belt, Wimps, etc, all doing cool things.
We love those bands. There's always a rad scene in Seattle, though people aren't always paying attention. Other cool bands we like are Wishbeard, Neighbors, and Arbitron.
Things end with notes on the more romantic side of things with “2U”, “Cassandra B.”, and “Zone”. Any reason do go out on a semi-sentimental note? I love that line in “Zone” that goes, “but it's….okay, because your tits were on a TV show today.”
Jon and Sacha are definitely romantic types, though Paul wrote all those songs, so, who knows?
Spring and summer plans for Posse?
Just writing and playing shows. Sacha might get gay-married (fingers crossed).
Posse's album Soft Opening will be available March 4 from Beating a Dead Horse Records.