“If you want to be an inoffensive “regular” musician that just aims to please everyone, go ahead, but meaningful art comes out of making extraordinary choices.”
Todd Umhoefer better known as Old Earth likes things to be clear.
“There are plenty of ways to avoid challenges and risks in life, and nothing interesting, unpredictable, unique, or inspiring comes from cowards. This is the most valuable lesson I learned from punk- celebrate yourself, whether everyone likes it or not.”
Old Earth is no ordinary artist and Small Hours, his new album, is no ordinary record. Adopting a punk ethos, this album was written and recorded in an incredibly short space of time between October 2012 and January 2013. Characterised by the sound of his guitar and a unique voice, used as a texture and tone rather than a mechanism simply for delivering words, Old Earth creates inspiring and unique records that say Fuck You to the norm. His belief is that the act of creation is the most important thing in life:
“I truly can’t imagine my life separate from music. I’ve been playing guitar for the past 18 years, never going more than 2 or 3 days without at least picking it up and strumming around for a few minutes. If I didn’t have a guitar, I’d just sing. I used to do a lot of open mics a’cappella, partially for the challenge, and partially to say “Well, if I get stuck without my instrument, I should be able to do SOMETHING”. I think of the world as my studio. Wherever I can bring (or find/borrow) a pen and a piece of paper, I’m drawing and writing. When I didn’t have studio space, I’d work in the library. If I didn’t have a pen, I’d be folding the paper in interesting ways, or making a sculpture out of whatever’s around.”
This attitude permeates throughout Small Hours taking the listener on a musical journey that combines post punk with old folk music to create a world of sound that doesn’t let up for the duration of the album. Slow and rich, with thick drones and minimal strums of a grumbly guitar this record follows on from last years acclaimed ‘Low Place at the Old Place’ in fine style.
released 22 April 2013
Old Earth - Small hours
Performed by Todd Umhoefer, Betty Blexrud-Strigens, Ben Lester, Christopher Porterfield, Kurt Spielmann, Damian Strigens, Ashlee Whitty, and Travis Whitty.
Recorded and produced by Todd Umhoefer, Nick Berg, and Christopher Porterfield. Mixed by Todd Umhoefer. Mastered by Nick Berg.
Special thanks to Euan McMeeken and Ronald Umhoefer