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Sidney Lindner & The Silver Wilderness Collective Summer Ghosts / Nightfalls
Expansive, languid and ethereal, Summer Ghosts / Nightfalls, the forthcoming full-length from Sidney Lindner & The Silver Wilderness Collective is as warm and resonant as the old New Hampshire church in which it was recorded. Lindner’s slow-motion pop songwriting is elevated by the deft hand with which ornament is applied. Searching strings swell, brass buzzes like a summer meadow, and organ wraps Lindner’s dusty vocals in sonic smoky velvet. No note out of place, the record’s soft-focus synthesis of indie Americana and folk will slow the world around you, offering a welcome respite from the onslaught of contemporary reality.
The Silver Wilderness Collective is the most recent project assembled by veteran songwriter Linder. Following the dissolution of the band Torrez (which he co-founded), Lindner released three albums between 2004 and 2013 under the name The Hotel Alexis. Holy Brother of the Mountain Sun came out in 2011 under his given name. Now, with Summer Ghosts / Nightfalls, Lindner finds inspiration in the unreleased 2002 album he recorded with his late brother Cayce.
The easy flow of Summer Ghosts / Nightfalls speaks to record’s organic origin. “I’d started catching up with my old friend Michael Yorgensen (Ike Hammond) in late 2016 and we’d begun talking about doing something together” tells Lindner. “At some point in early 2017 he told me he had found a church in Sunapee, New Hampshire, that was for sale. The owner had offered to let him rent it for a week or so, with the idea being that Michael might buy it. We decided we should make a record in there.”
Initially conceived as a full collaboration, as the duo began to demo material, the focus shifted to documenting Lindner’s songs, with Yorgensen producing. Soon enough the pews were cleared, a full studio’s worth of gear was hauled up from Connecticut, a piano was located, and word was put to the wire that this project was about to go wheels up. “I am lucky enough to know some incredibly talented people” says Lindner. In the end, in addition to Lindner on guitar and vocals and Yorgensen on guitar, piano, organ, and synth, Chris Decato (guitar, bass, piano, organs, percussion, harmonica, synthesizer), Gregg Porter (drums, percussion), Guy Capecelatro III (bass, guitar), Clara Kebabian (viola and violin), Jim Rioux (drums), and Karen Elizabeth (vocals) convened to bring Lindner’s vision to fruition.
“The church was hot and still and amazing” recalls Lindner. “People always talk about how ‘the room’ is so important. Now I understand. Certain spaces really can be a massive influence on a record.” When not recording with Lindner, Elizabeth and Yorgensen run Community Recording Services, dedicated to helping musicians who might not otherwise be able to do so create high-quality recordings.
Splitting the process into two sessions, one in summer and the other in fall, Lindner had initially planned on releasing the record as two EPs. While listening to the mixes, he came to a realization. “It’s actually kind of a concept record” he laughs. The character of “The Lightning Kid” is a recurring theme, yet he’s not so much a superhero as he is a kid that just loves storms and is awed by lightning. “There’s a cynical self-righteous adult trying to tell this little one how it will be… but he has a distorted view of things.”
With Summer Ghosts / Nightfalls Lindner and his collective have succeeded in marrying and painterly, semi-surrealist narrative with its perfect sonorous counterpoint. “There have been many records in my life that were necessary” relates Lindner. “They were absolutely needed at that time. Is this necessary? I hope this record is necessary.”