Following the release of their second record, Hungry Ghost (praised by NY Times for having “something increasingly rare today: group exploration with little flexing or hurry”, and Pop Matters calling their compositions “memorable to the point where they can often sound like long-lost standards”), Typical Sisters return with their ambitious new album, Love Beam. Their third release presents a kaleidoscope of glitchy acoustic timbres, warbly guitar melodies, and crunchy drum loops merging the worlds of improvised jazz and lo-fi bedroom production.

Guitarist Gregory Uhlmann (Perfume Genius, Fell Runner, Josh Johnson), bassist Clark Sommers (Kurt Elling, Ba(SH), Lens), and drummer Matt Carroll (Ohmme, V.V. Lightbody, Rooms) have spent over the last decade nurturing their initial affinity towards one another. Conceptually and emotionally, Love Beam is a celebration of the nourishment they receive from each other in both collaboration and friendship. The title evokes an atmospheric, metaphorical space they inhabit whenever they’re able to play music together, which is rare enough considering the distance between them: Uhlmann in Los Angeles, Sommers living in Chicago, and Carroll in Copenhagen.

The band started at Sommer’s house in 2009, where the trio gelled over Joni Mitchell tunes and jazz standards. In those few hours of effortless improvisation, the three immediately knew that the chemistry of the group was worth fostering and developing. Though all three members are involved in many other projects of note, and very literally live across the globe from one another, this has been their musical safe space.

Like any other Typical Sisters record, the songs on Love Beam began with each member bringing their own ideas to the table and then organically arranging and fleshing out the pieces as a group. But unlike their previous albums, digital production elements like programmed drums, lo-fi iPhone recordings, and manipulated human voices were incorporated. Moreover, the use of computer software such as Ableton as a tool for both composition and exploration was an inspiring new addition to the band’s lexicon. And while the foundation of their prior releases centered around their acoustic instruments, this record is more an attempt to marry these sensibilities and explore how the two intersect.

The resulting songs are brimming with inimitable experimentation, like the temperamental “Owl”, a whiplashing tune that gets its moody textures from a colander, a completely out of tune zinther, and a keyboard dialed in to sound like an oxygen machine. There are slice-of-life field recordings that illuminate the compositions as well. “OEO”, for instance, captures a bustling train station in Helsinki, and on “Grains”, Carroll’s wife can be heard singing Danish folk songs in a chopped-up sample.

Even though the songs on Love Beam were composed individually, they were developed with an openness to collaboration in the recording and production process. Once in the studio with co-producer Tim Carr, the songs began to take shape as Carr and the band bounced ideas off each other. While the initial tracking only took a week, the post-production process went on for several months with the band and Carr collaborating over long distance. Furthermore, the album wouldn’t be complete without the expert ears of the Grammy-Award-winning producer Paul Bryan (Aimee Mann / Jeff Parker), who mixed the album, or Dave Cooley (J Dilla / Madvillain), who added the finishing touches with mastering.

Ultimately, Typical Sister's relationship is one of symbiosis. It’s three musicians with a meaningful bond to each other creatively, personally, and collaboratively. Love Beam is the result of a group of lifelong friends taking a leap of faith into unfamiliar territory, and coming out on the other side not only unscathed, but feeling even more fulfilled.

Track List:

1. Water Plants
2. Well Done
3. OEO
4. Owl
5. Recurring Memory
6. King Flipper
7. Clairvoyant
8. No Evil
9. Oregano
10. Uni Lunch
11. Clamata
12. Grains
13. Ephemeral

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