Chicago-based, by way of New York, Ace Reporter has released “Saints & Angeles”, the first of three bonus tracks on their upcoming album Yearling XL, the extended edition of the pop-rock Yearling LP. Available on April 22, 2014 via Ooh La La Records, the record features new cuts and was mixed by label owner/producer/mixer Theo Aronson (1,2,3, Cymbals Eat Guitars).
Singer and main songwriter Chris Snyder explains: “”Saints & Angels” started out as a sketch for a very different song. In July, 2013, the band was scheduled for a day of recording at the Converse Rubber Tracks studio in Brooklyn, and I was hoping to start and finish a brand new song in a single day, much as I had done during the year of the threesixfive project. Drums went great, but when it came to recording guitars, we all started questioning if the chorus felt strong enough. After noodling in the control room for 30 or 40 minutes, we settled on a new chord progression, but not a melody. And as the day came to a close, it was clear that the song was far from finished. I put the song aside and only returned to it late in 2013. At that point, I more or less started from scratch, keeping only the drums and a few ambient guitar parts and basically writing an entirely different song over the skeleton of the last one. I had never written a song in that way, and it was a fairly torturous process: much less inspiration-based than revision-based. I think I wrote four or five different choruses for the song, none of which felt quite right. I usually write my lyrics last, but “Saints & Angels” really started to come together only when the lyrics solidified. I was back in my childhood home in Los Angeles over the holidays and, as one does in LA, I was spending a lot of time driving. Gliding through SoCal suburbia helped to inspire this picture of a couple wrapped in an unbalanced tryst of convenience (for one) and devotion (for the other). It’s something of a Christmas song in the way it imagines this couple reuniting once in a while when they’re both back home for the holidays, away from their normal lives (and presumably other partners). I don’t usually set out to write sad love songs, but for whatever reason they’re much more interesting to me than happy ones.”
A rooftop overlooking Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. A fleabag motel on the banks of the Susquehanna River. A bus winding through sleepy Chicago suburbs. A book-filled bedroom. A sculpture garden in Washington, D.C.
These are the memories that inhabit Ace Reporter’s debut LP Yearling. They are memories from a single year, one that musician Chris Snyder spent writing and recording one new song every day. In 2010, after the breakup of his longtime band The States, Snyder, a songwriter, composer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist based in Brooklyn, embarked on what he called the threesixfive project. Each day came with a mandate for the musician to start and finish a new track. From this burgeoning collection of songs, four EPs emerged, which Snyder – who began playing violin at age four and landed his first singing gig as the featured boy soprano on the soundtrack for The Crow – eventually transformed into a full-length album culled from the experiences and inspirations that propelled him through that year.
02 Untouched and Arrived
03 Stick To
04 Into Chicago
07 Collected Works
10 If I See You Again
11 Saints & Angels*
* previously unreleased
03/01 Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Theatre+
03/03 Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade+
04/22 Burlington, VT @The Monkey House*
04/23 Cambridge, MA @ TT The Bears*
04/24 Portsmouth, NH @ The Thirsty Moose*
04/25 Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right*
04/26 Portland, ME @ Empire*
+ w/ The Fratellis
* w/The Other Bones