Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker Recorded a New Album, “Little Rope,” in Portland

The album, which will be released Jan. 19, was influenced by the 2022 death of Brownstein’s mother and stepfather in Italy.

It’s been a minute since Carrie Brownstein was in the Portland spotlight, even though she still owns a home in the Hollywood neighborhood and was fêted by PAM CUT in 2022.

A new profile published in The New Yorker, however, takes a look at the recording of Brownstein and Sleater-Kinney collaborator Corin Tucker’s latest album, Little Rope, at Northeast Portland studio Flora Recording & Playback.

Little Rope, which will be released Jan. 19 through Loma Vista, was in the works back in 2022, when Brownstein’s mother and stepfather were killed in a car crash in Italy. Tucker was the first to hear the news when the call came from the Italian Embassy.

“Finishing the record was basically my way of praying every day,” Brownstein says in the profile. “I am not a religious person, but I had to ask. I had to wonder, I had to talk and commune with something that was beyond what I could see in front of me.”

Brownstein, 49, has a long-standing relationship with Flora Recording. In fact, while recording Little Rope, she discovered a custom guitar she’d accidentally left behind at the studio while recording another album a year ago.

“We had a lot of our gear stolen from our storage unit shortly after recording the album,” Brownstein says. “We just assumed the guitar was gone.”

It’s been a decade since Sleater-Kinney reunited after a 10-year hiatus, during which Brownstein created Portlandia with Fred Armisen (she also enjoyed a career as a rock journalist for The Believer, NPR and Slate).

Beginning in February, Brownstein and Tucker (drummer Janet Weiss departed the band in 2019) will embark on their latest tour, stopping in Portland to play the Crystal Ballroom on April 5. The show is sold out, but you can still join the waitlist.

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