September 14, 2008

Sneak peek: Songwriter David Tomaloff's new album

Racine singer/songwriter David Tomaloff offers music lovers a sneak peek at his brand new album, "Birds on Wires," which is slated for release in mid-October.

In fact, I'm listening to it right now, as I type this, the link to the album's streaming audio having landed in my inbox with a "ding" just moments ago.

I'm of a different generation -- vinyl, doncha know, tape decks, cassettes, eight-track -- but I know a good thing when I hear it. Tomaloff (it says here, in the email that accompanied the URL, "has been best known for his work with the independent rock and roll outfit, The Dammitheads, whose two self-released albums garnered a fair share of critical praise and song placements on such shows as Invasion and MTV’s Real World: Road Rules." Whatever, Dude: Even to my ears the album is good!

The email, from Jennifer L. Bahling, continues:

His most recent musical incarnation finds Tomaloff decidedly many miles from the Dammitheads’ sound, immersed in a unique and ardent blend of Americana, Roots, and Folk Rock, all distilled and delivered in the form of his most accomplished and compelling work yet; a ten-song album titled, Birds on Wires.

Birds on Wires comes across as a more straight ahead and lyrically centered work than anything Tomaloff has done to date and, while his lyrics are most often delivered in the first person, they are never obviously “personal,” preferring instead to leave the cast of characters free to roam about and gel with the listener.

One of the most fascinating aspects of Birds on Wires is the record’s somewhat unusual recording process, wherein Tomaloff enlisted the help of friend, drummer-engineer, and NC native, Chris Garges, for what would become a very fruitful long-distance recording relationship.

For this process, Tomaloff sent Chris demo versions of the songs to record drums and percussion over as he saw fit. Garges then sent the tracks back to Tomaloff to finish. As the songs progressed, many of them were sent back to Garges for further recording, adding the heart wrenching pedal steel of Bob Barone.

Birds on Wires, to be self-released in mid-October, was recorded by David Tomaloff at his own Hey!Low Sound System studio and by Chris Garges at Old House Studio in Gastonia, NC. The album was mixed by Chris Garges at Old House Studio and mastered by Brent Lambert at The Kitchen in Carrboro, NC.

"Tomaloff has just returned from some state that I've never been to and recorded some darn good tunes. They take me back to a place that I've never been, but always wanted to go -- with the likes of Bob Dylan and Mark Twain and other essential notables as your tour guides." – The Boy (Matt Geary)

"The new stuff is brilliant! It's like you channeled Alyson Krause, Jeff Tweedy, Patterson Hood, Hayward Williams, and Ray Lamontange, then took all the best of each to make the perfect music." – Steven Pfaff

Tomaloff reveals more of himself on his website. Here are a few tidbits that caught my eye (along with the self-portrait, left):

-- "I was born David Wayne Tomaloff in the winter of 1972... and all requests to legally change my first name to 'Senator' have been flatly denied."

-- "I love music; but then, who doesn’t? I am currently kept by two odd cats with very differing personalities; though, neither seems to be put off by the differences."

-- "I am obsessed with hats... I think iPods are evil and almost never leave home without one. I believe in tea and sometimes, on a good day, I even believe in myself."

-- "These songs are really just blurry snapshots; glimpses into the minds of the characters that walk through them. They are passing moments in lives forgotten but strangely familiar in a way that lives in nearly all of us; and if I’ve done my job well, I suspect they will reveal themselves to you in a way that is savagely fragile, tough talking and, all at once, criminally insecure."


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