Down the Lees wake up to the darkness in their latest single Bury the Sun — premiering exclusively on Tinnitist.
Weaving hints of Slint, Shannon Wright, Sonic Youth, Cloud Nothings and Low, the slow-burning slocore supernova is the title cut from the new album by Canadian no-wave artist Laura Lee Schultz and Belgium-based indie post-rock outfit Down the Lees.
Although the band began as a solo foray on her debut release 360 Degrees (2005), Schultz recruited friends to contribute to the Vancouver-recorded The Guest Room (2008) and Wear Me Out (2012). “It had grown into being a collaborative project, but only a recording project,” she says. “Now, it has evolved into a recording and a live performance project.
“I took a few years off from Down the Lees, and packed up my stuff to move to Belgium to live, work and travel,” she explains. “The live music scene in Belgium is thriving! Festivals are off the hook. So, of course I got the live performance bug again.”
After a slew of solo shows in Ghent and writing new material, Schultz decided she “was just going to make a long-time dream come true and record the next DTL album with Steve Albini in Chicago.”
This time, she had new recruits: Jonathan Frederix and Kwinten Gluehorse, both highly active in Belgium’s music scene. “I was very lucky to connect with two very talented Belgian musician friends, and we worked tirelessly to perfect the songs before flying to Chicago.
“Kwinten has been active in the Ghent music scene for years, and we became fast friends. He was very interested to record with Down the Lees and was instrumental in helping arrange the songs and pick the perfect pedals for the sound we were going for. Next, we found Jonathan, who is also in the next biggest band to come out of Belgium, HEISA. It’s lucky that we got him. He instills so much youthful energy, enthusiasm and power to the songs.
“We attacked this album differently than the normal band,” Schultz says of laying tracks at Albini’s in-demand studio Electrical Audio. “Usually, you write songs, play them in front of many audiences, perfect them, perfect your craft and THEN record. We did it backwards; we never played them live in front of an audience before playing them in front of Steve. We wanted to capture the songs as we had them, how we felt when we first played them, ultimately capturing the rawness and spark that a band exudes when you create something together.
“I also wanted the challenge of recording the old school way,” Schultz adds. “To analog tape, no copy/pasting. You really have to make quick decisions and really know your parts. It added a layer of stress and complexity to the recording process that I kinda loved. Especially since our music can make you feel uneasy at times. It really added to the atmosphere of it all.”