This should be a story about a great event in local folk chanteuse Laura Gibson's musical career, but it's not. It's really a story about how lucky Hush Records is. The Portland label—which counts Norfolk & Western, Super XX Man and Kind of Like Spitting amongst its current roster, and boasts alum like the Decemberists and Corrina Repp—has managed to sign Gibson and will be releasing her breathtaking debut If You Come to Greet Me.
The album, which could sloppily be described as a more dope version of a Jolie Holland album (if you take dope to mean more beauty, innocence and patience), was recorded at Type Foundry Studio by Norfolk & Western's Adam Selzer. But how did the young songwriter get together with Selzer? Gibson explains it all to Local Cut
I hadn't met Adam (or any of those folks) before I (very timidly) emailed him back in November about the possibility of recording a few songs. A friend of mine had loaned me Norfolk's Dusk in Cold Parlors CD, which I listened to so many times and really loved the instrumentation and arrangements. It turned out to be such a good fit, both personally and musically. I cared about my voice and guitar parts coming across, but also get really excited about orchestration, strings and trumpet sounds.
Like many who record with Selzer at Type Foundry, Gibson, who will be playing tonight at Pix Patisserie-North (3901 N. Williams Ave., 282-6539) and Thursday night at Holocene (1001 SE Morrison St., 239-7639)
, found herself being backed by the N&W crew throughout much of the recording. The result is an album of quiet beauty, the arrangements giving the songs an understated depth that manages to embolden Gibson's compositions without overshadowing them. Well, how did that happpen? Laura?
Adam and I worked together really well. He's very laid back and we had a lot of fun building the songs. We laughed a lot, and drank a lot of coffee. More than anything, he really cared about my songs, and what I wanted them to sound like and respected my ideas and vision. He is really encouraging in that way, and it impacted me a lot. At the same time, he contributed a lot creatively, offered a lot of input (there's definitely a lot of Norfolk and Western in there).
But does the friendship end there? Of course not, Gibson says.
The musicians that played (primarily Rachel Blumberg, Cory Gray and Peter Broderick—all of whom I met during recording) contributed SO MUCH to the feel of the album. Cory (piano, trumpet) and Peter (violin, banjo, saw) are now playing with me at live shows (when they are not touring with other bands). They are really amazing. I am so lucky to have them.
So much love, it hurts. If you don't catch Gibson this week, she will be playing Friday, Sept. 8 at the Towne Lounge as a part of MusicfestNW's Local Cut Showcase
. If you miss here there, surely she will be playing elsewhere. Or, if you're a homebody sort, you could just wait until the album comes out in early November.
Until then, listen to one of the tracks here
Laura Gibson: lauragibson.net
Hush Records: hushrecords.com
Type Foundry Studio: typefoundrystudio.com
Norfolk & Western: norfolkandwestern.org