2010 releases

Syd and Hotels and Highways

So, it’s been, by my reckoning, about 10 years since I first stumbled across Syd‘s stuff. I know that definitely it’s definitely been at least 8 years since his “Week Days, Weak Knees” EP came out, but I’m pretty sure I’d heard his stuff prior, with a killer live cover of Blink-182’s “Dammit”.

“Picking Up the Pieces”, from Syd’s “Week Days, Weak Knees”

Regardless, what I’m getting at is: it’s been a while. And sure, like any relationship lasting that long we’ve wandered. Our musical tastes seemed to change as we grew, and grew apart in a lot of ways. While “Upswing” (Syd’s last album, from 2009) was definitely a slick album in its own right, it just wasn’t really for me. To be honest, I think the last album I could get behind 100% was his 2004 album, “Fault Lines”.

“The Bottom”, from Syd’s “Fault Lines”

But such was the power of those first few years together that I’ve still kept a keen eye on what Syd’s up to. So it was with much interest that I saw that Syd, along with Patrick Thomas and Lisa Piccirillo (all members of the Co-Op, which in itself is a beautiful concept) had formed a band called Hotels and Highways; and not only had they formed the band, but they’d already recorded their first album.

This fall, we decided to spurn the real world and disappear into a cabin in upstate New York with our music machines and recording gear – no hourly rates, no deadlines and no preconceptions.

The result, an album we are calling “Lost River,” is a perfect representation of creation in its rawest form. Words were grabbed from the air as fast as the changes were decided and everything was recorded as it was written. In addition to the inherent energy of this in-the-moment recording style, we feel there is as much soul in these simple songs as anything we have released before.

– From the band’s Kickstarter page

So here’s the thing… the band are looking for some help in getting the thing released, and as such they’re using Kickstarter to raise funds so that they can mix, master, produce and promote the album themselves.

Now, I know that I say Syd and I have parted ways in our musical lives over the last couple of years. But the tune that plays in their Kickstarter video (apparently called “Night Song”, according to Syd) is possibly a homecoming of sorts for us. And I’m so friggin’ excited about that, I could spit. (Actually, I’ve never really understood that saying, but it’s true nonetheless). Watch the vid below…


How beautiful does that track sound? Man, I am absolutely swooning (and more than a little frustrated that I can’t hear more…)
And above all, it’s no longer music for the teenage me (as you’ve probably guessed the above two tracks were)… rather, this is music that I’ve grown up to hear.

So here’s what I have to say: Syd – and the rest of the guys in the Co-Op – embody the very spirit of camaraderie in music. Seriously. The amount of times I’ve seen the guy help someone out on twitter or online is ridiculous. Heck, he even gave me some design tips back when I was helping Alex Dezen launch the Damnwells site. And I’d say it’s about time the dude got some awesome karma back.

So, if you want to support music and real musicians, then why not consider contributing towards the band’s Kickstarter fund? You’ll not only be helping out a bunch of super-nice people, but you just might reunite me with a musical love. Oh… and you can get the album for your donation above $10 too.

So go on.

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