Play music with another person for nearly two decades and chances are intuition begins to take hold. "We always tell each other, "Oh, your telepathy is spot-on!" Hope Sandoval (perhaps best known as one-half of Mazzy Star) says of her innate songwriting connection with Colm O'Cíosóig, the singer's longtime musical compatriot in experimental project Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions.
Mutual respect, understanding and a passion for each other's craft fuels an organic creative process that lies at the heart of the Warm Inventions' mesmerizing sonic creation. Questions on whether or not the critically acclaimed band would ever release a follow-up to 2009's Through The Devil Softly, need not occur. Multi-instrumentalist O'Cíosóig, a founding member of My Bloody Valentine, is quite matter-offact in assessing the Warm Inventions' stunning new album, Until The Hunter, due on November 4 on their new label Tendril Tales (distributed through INgrooves). "It's basically a continuation of what we're doing all the time," O'Cíosóig says of the pair's new album.
Until The Hunter is the result of several recording sessions in two of Dublin's Martello canon towers in Ireland. The album is a lush, highly intimate collection of songs from the masters of mood and melody. Sandoval's vocals serve as a serene compliment to The Warm Invention's swirling guitar figures throughout, whether drenched in reverb on the folk-leaning "The Peasant" or underpinned by ominous organ on opening track "Into The Trees."
"Let Me Get There," is a swooning duet single with singer-songwriter Kurt Vile, The track was originally recorded with only Hope Sandoval singing, "but we would listen to it and say to each other, 'This would be amazing if we got somebody else to sing on it with me," Sandoval recalls. They immediately thought of Vile, a musician they both fell in love with when first hearing him while shopping in a drum store in Dublin. "It was a total honor to sing along to a beautifully hypnotic soul groove with heavyweights like Hope, Colm, and all the other top notch musos. To respond to Hope's call in song of letting her get there felt right and real and gave me chills while singing, even though I knew they already got there years before I walked in the building." - Kurt Vile
Vile wasn't the only musician the duo brought into the fold: O'Cíosóig and Sandoval reunited with long time friends and collaborators Dirt Blue Gene by "jamming and writing some new material" in the Dublin Martello towers. The tower setting, O'Cíosóig says, was surprisingly well suited for live tracking. "They have a really good sound to them because they're circular and stone which creates a reverb that has a nice natural decay. The towers were originally built in the nineteenth-century in anticipation of an invasion by Napoleon Bonaparte that never happened!"
The Warm Inventions also enlisted singer Mariee Sioux, whose enchanting vocals add complimentary colors to Sandoval's lead on tracks including the delicate fingerpicked "The Hiking Song" and "Into The Trees." Famed Berkeley street musician Michael Masley additionally added what O'Cíosóig calls "strange and eerie noises" to the mix.
Sandoval has also recently collaborated with Massive Attack on their new single "The Spoils". They previously worked together on the track "Paradise Circus" from their critically acclaimed 2010 album "Heligoland".
Until The Hunter was mixed at Cauldron Studios in Dublin and mastered by longtime engineer Mark Chalecki in Los Angeles.