“Blue of Distance” by Lea Thomas and John Thayer, Out October 4 on Spirit House Records
A collection of ephemeral vignettes, Blue Of Distance is a reflection on what it means to bear witness to untamed wilderness. Written and recorded over the course of an isolated artist residency in a solar-powered cabin deep in the sagebrush mountains of Northeastern Nevada, this ambient-folk album marks the first collaborative release by John Thayer and Lea Thomas.
Sounds of passing hail storms and coyote calls, emotive ambient drones, and a handful of lyrical songs all share equal time on the record, as if to mirror the absence of distinct human presence within the expansive landscape. The recordings are imbued with the haze of desert heat as the occasional tape hiss and warble of a 4-track cassette machine contribute to an overall vintage feeling. Guitar, voice and analog effects blend seamlessly with the raw sounds of the environment, presenting immersive experiential compositions, all at once intimate and universal.
The album’s title is inspired by Rebecca Solnit’s Field Guide To Getting Lost.
Lea Thomas and John Thayer are musicians based in Brooklyn, New York. Thomas has previously released music on Tacky Records before joining Spirit House Records for the 2018 release of her EP Part of This Place. She is also a visual artist with a focus on woven forms. Thayer recently released a solo ambient album “Regarding Wave” on Surfacing Records in 2018.
Hoppie Canyon Music Video
The self-directed music video for the first single off Blue of Distance, “Hoppie Canyon” was filmed in the salt flats of Utah and follows the singer/guitarist (Thomas) as she walks through mirror-like pools of saltwater. The song swells into a whirlwind of ambient effects and production by Thayer while Thomas sings, “Why am I so terrified / do the clouds in the sky ever look down?” as if hoping to find an emotional middle ground between the humbling immensity of the world and the relative smallness of the human perspective.