In the english village of Steventon, songwriter/principal heretic Jason Sebastian Russo and a constituency of british pop talent hauled several half-tuned guitars, myriad scraps of rusty metal and a piano with a knee-high flood watermark into a cow barn on Hill Farm. So was born Common Prayer's first album, There Is A Mountain. Now, the band has signed to Big Potato Records, a british label founded in part by Neil Halstead, with plans for a July 19 release in the UK/Europe and a subsequent UK/EU tour. A North American digital release via Russo's own imprint Virtual Label is set for June 1, 2010.
In the album's eleven elaborately cinematic outsider-pop tracks, violin innuendos and organ riffs tangle with scrap metal samples and found sounds. While thoughtful and often somber in theme, Russo's songs are playfully bizarre, informed by extensive field research in the life of the heartbroken, reckless, romantic and mentally ill from a reflective and victorious post-everything perspective.
Look for Common Prayer in duo-form next week at SXSW, and on the main stage of the inaugural Truck America festival this spring (alongside Russo's former bandmates Mercury Rev, plus White Rabbits, Here We Go Magic & more). Common Prayer is staffed by members of the Truck family from all corners of Oxfordshire, upstate-NY resident Alexandra Marvar, and Jason's brother Justin Russo. It is anchored in Brooklyn.[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/7804880" params="auto_play=false&player_type=tiny&font=Courier&color=ff1a29" width="100%" height="18" ]