Some Say Leland | Field Recordings Volume 1: The Abandoned State School

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Field Recordings Volume 1: The Abandoned State School

by Some Say Leland

Recorded live with no audience in an abandoned school for mentally unstable men and boys. Great natural reverb.
Genre: Folk: Field Recordings
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Ocean
5:54 $0.99
2. Be Where You'd Been
5:39 $0.99
3. Devil's Juicebox
9:28 $0.99
4. Porcelain
4:37 $0.99
5. Overflow
6:23 $0.99
6. We Will Dance
4:26 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
This EP is the first in a series of Field Recordings that Some Say Leland will be releasing. The band often plays shows in unconventional spaces and will occasionally release field recordings made in spaces that give the songs a particular mood. Volume 1 was recorded live with no audience in what was the laundry building for an abandoned school for mentally unstable men and boys. It collects songs from "Fifty Miles Into The Main" and "Wake" in addition to the previously unreleased song "Be Where You'd Been." The recordings for this EP were made by candle light by Robert Steel with battery powered field recording equipment.



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Excellent Field Recording
For anyone who has seen my reviews, they know that I'm a fan of Some Say Leland. This is another great release by the band. Field Recordings Volume 1: The Abandoned State School was released the very same day as their other EP, Wake. While Wake is a studio EP, this release is just what the title says, a field recording that was recorded at an abandoned state school in Austin, Texas. A couple of things that the listener may find interesting is that this EP (to my knowledge) was recorded without any electricity. Just the band, their instruments and a battery powered field recorder in a candle lit room. Also to my knowledge, the state school was specifically for mentally ill men and boys; it kind of gives an interesting/creepy feel, which does seem to come across in the music.

It sounds like it was recorded in a big, creepy, dark room...and I actually do mean that in a good way. This record's sound seems to be both a virtue and a limitation. I think the sound almost makes it a certain kind of mood music, which would be better listened to at home, alone. Or on a rainy day; or really late at night while driving home. The sound makes for more of a listening experience, which I really like. On the other hand, this is not a recording I could listen to in 5 o'clock traffic on my way home from work. I would feel weird.

You can find studio versions of most of these songs on Some Say Leland's other releases. Ocean, Devil's Juicebox and Porcelain can be found on Fifty Miles Into The Main, while Overflow and We Will Dance can be found on Wake. Both of those releases are amazing and at least one of them should probably be purchased before this one. Unless you're just a giant fan of field recordings, this doesn't seem to be a proper introduction to the band. The only new track here is Be Where You'd Been, which will likely have a place on their next studio release.

I will say, this release has no intention whatsoever of being a "Best Of" of any sort, but you would be hard pressed to find six Some Say Leland songs that I enjoy more to record live. Speaking of playing live, that's definitely an area where the band shines. The instrumentation is excellent. I enjoyed the intro of Devil's Juicebox, thanks to the great trombone work...I really didn't know how much I enjoy trombone until I started listening to Some Say Leland. Porcelain is also one of my favorite duets of recent memory. The new song, Be Where You'd Been should get everyone excited about their next studio release. And We Will Dance is probably my favorite Some Say Leland song to date. All the songs are fantastic.