Gary Olson

TR 462LP TR 462LP

LP version. This album is a tale of two cities, or rather, two studios; one in Hayland, Norway and the other in Flatbush, Brooklyn and two brothers who came up with the idea making a record with indie rock wizard Gary Olson which now links the two locations. Gary Olson is the lead singer, main songwriter, and plays trumpet with the band Ladybug Transistor who have released five albums on Merge Records. He is also producer and engineer at Marlborough Farms studio deep in the heart of Flatbush Brooklyn. On the Norwegian side Ole Johannes Åleskjær has his studio, Tune-J in the bucolic countryside outside Oslo. He and his brother Jorn Åleskjær met Gary many years ago when their band Loch Ness Mouse crossed paths with Ladybug Transistor on tour. At one of these chance meetings Ole put forward the idea of a writing and recording collaboration between himself, his brother Jorn and Gary with the recording done both in Norway and Brooklyn. Over a period of eight years Gary would visit the Åleskjær brother's barn studio in its idyllic setting near the Swedish border and do basic tracks on whatever songs the three had written. Gary would then take the recordings back to Brooklyn where he would add vocals, horns, and strings at his studio. The recordings would then return to Norway for producer Ole to finish the tracks. By the end of 2019 this set of eleven songs had naturally blossomed into an album. With Ole producing and playing guitar and Gary doing vocals and trumpet the album personnel was rounded out by Håvard Krogedal (bass, cello) and Emil Nikolaisen (drums) both from Serena-Maneesh; Joe McGinty (string arrangements, piano, organ) from The Psychedelic Furs, Ryan Adams, and Suzanne Nienaber on backing vocals (Pale Lights). Although the initial idea was to do simple recordings Ladybug Transistor fans will no doubt be pleased to find Gary's signature exultant trumpet sound, the luscious strings, and gorgeous pop hooks so favored by that band present in plenty on this album. The melodies are at once both delicate and strongly memorable and the lustrous production gives a sheen reminiscent of the best '70s commercial radio and '80s indie pop. Fittingly the album cover photo depicts Gary on a decommissioned airfield in New York that is now a national park. There's a dreamy, overwhelming vastness on the old runway that was built in the 1920s.