Longboat, the Seattle songwriter, composer, and multi-instrumentalist, continues on his quest to release fifty studio albums.
One day, after meandering around the globe, Igor Keller began writing songs about his home town. These were collected in his 2011 debut, Greater Seattle – and Longboat was born. That release tapped a seemingly limitless fount of creativity, and Keller has been writing and recording at a steady clip since.
On first blush, one might assume that the new Longboat record Album 28 has been given a rather tongue-in-cheek moniker. Yet it is not hyperbolic – and really just a hair past the halfway point set by Keller. The man has a head full of music and has set a goal of releasing at least fifty full-length recordings. That is, “if my own obscurity and the semi-ancient Trans-Carpathian curse don’t conspire to do me in before then. I’m hoping that by the 50th album, I will have run out of subject matter, motivation, and sanity.”
Centering Album 28 are ethereal, commanding strings. Sonically, this is a record of delightful contrast, built intentionally on a foundation electronics with string orchestra (and occasional acoustic guitar).
“The live instruments warm up the electronics and the electronics cool down the live instruments. As always, the key to a really good arrangement is to give the strings some room. They give the songs breadth and scope.”
Written in Keller’s cluttered Belltown bunker, Album 28 was recorded at Studio Litho with Floyd Reitsma (Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews) recording and mixing. Keller composed, arranged, and produced the record. Ryan Leyva (Acid Tongue) played acoustic guitar and provided superior backing vocals. The otherworldly string section was composed of musicians drawn from the ranks of the Seattle Symphony and the Pacific Northwest Ballet.