It was time to come back home. After four years of heavy touring schedules with Bishop Allen and The Rosebuds, it was time to leave New York and head back South to his home of Houston, TX. Not the hippest city in the country, but that was sort of the point. What started as a open-ended hiatus from music and a venture into graduate school in architecture at Rice University, it didn’t take too long before Giorgio Angelini started writing music again. Oh, and there was a break-up, of course. What record worth it’s weight in wax hasn’t been seeded by a good ol’ fashioned heart ripping? Distance is, indeed, a killer.
Oax is the result. The name coming from the seemingly endless canopy of live oak trees that covers Houston like a carpet. Not native to Houston, the trees were planted by early settlers as a way to provide shelter from the punishing Texas sun. And lucky enough, they managed to thrive like weeds in the swampy bayou soup of Houston soil.
Angelini took his shelter in his home studio.
In addition to a punishing break-up, Angelini also lost his long-time musical collaborator, Cully Symington, to Okkervil River. In many ways, feeling backed into a corner and very much alone, the thought of recording alone, at home, was not a prospect Angelini was willing to undertake. In need of some companionship and collaboration, Giorgio called on Ivan Howard of the Rosebuds/Gayngs to come down to Houston and help record his one-man opus. Howard obliged.
This Distance EP is both an airing of grievances and a testifying of sins. Playing all the instruments himself (save for ‘Sutures’), Angelini used this recording as a release--musically and emotionally.
‘Sutures,’ the EP closer, was written by Angelini and sung by Chris Simpson, of Mineral and The Gloria Record. Inadvertently recorded in the wrong key, the mistake became a happy accident. As the key was too high for Giorgio to sing, Chris stepped in to help a friend in need. Originally intended to be a simple track comprised of voice and strings, during mixing at Public Hi-Fi, Jim Eno (studio owner) stepped in the room to survey the progress. After a few passes, Jim suddenly stood up from the couch as asked if he could play drums. A strange request in the middle of mixing a song, but how do you say no to the drummer from Spoon? Mics were quickly set up and what resulted was something that can only come from spur-of-the-moment occasions such as this one.
Angelini is still in graduate school and has about a year left before he becomes a ‘master of architecture.’ In the meantime, he’s headed back to New York for the summer where he’ll be performing with a new group of musicians including Ben Trokan and Morgan King of Robbers on High Street.
FUN FACT: Giorgio Angelini was part of the group of musicians who scored the video game ‘Red Dead Redemption,’ which won the 2010 Video Game Award for ‘best original score’ and ‘game of the year.’ Giorgio also played in the Rosebuds with folk crooner, Justin Vernon (Bon Iver). He’s also in Michael Cera film, “Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist” playing some super awesome bass for about 5 seconds.