Sebastian Blanck tells Popdust about the song “Convince Me”: “Hannah Cohen, who sings on Convince Me, has sung more songs with me than anyone else. I’ve also made a number of paintings of her. She is a close friend and I think she is a spectacular singer. Her voice is amazing. It’s sweet and angelic, but also potent and moody. I think lyrically the repetition at the end of the chorus of “over and over and over” was the most satisfying thing to write. It’s fun and playful but sad at the same time.”
Sebastian tells American Songwriter about the origins of his video for “Magnolia”: “My wife, Isca Greenfield-Sanders, is a painter. We have been together since we met in college in Providence, RI. There are a number of beautiful Magnolia Trees on College Hill, the neighborhood where Brown and RISD are located. I went to RISD, and Isca went to Brown. Magnolia trees are my favorite tree. I find them especially beautiful in the spring when they are blooming. The first big gift Isca ever gave me was a painting of a magnolia tree. My song Magnolia is about that in between time, when you are not a kid, but not quite an adults either.”
A founding member of the noise band Black Dice, Blanck has been writing and recording music under his own name for the last 10 years. His highly personal paintings of family and fellow artists / musicians are regularly exhibited in the United States and abroad.
"Convince Me" was recorded live with the help of friends Richard Baluyut (of the Indie Rock band Versus) on bass, Joey Bouchard on drums, and Chris Robertson playing guitar and producing the record. It has a more immediate and visceral feel than Blanck's previous effort, "Alibi Coast” 2010.
When describing his songwriting process Blanck says, “I wanted to write an album that guessed at what my life would be like without the love I enjoy, without the comfort I know in my family. This collection of songs is about unbalanced love and its complexities.”
Blanck's visually compelling lyrics, paired with lush harmonies and alternate guitar tunings, create a warm tone for the album as in the track Vanishing Point (I’m one whose pulled by a hunger for more / I am the rising tide that devours the shore / with some venomous need to see we are joined / and from my perspective you’re the vanishing point.)
"Convince Me" features a number of duets. Sharon Van Etten*, Becky Stark and Hannah Cohen all lend their voices to the album. These guest vocalists help Blanck pose the question, “How can we stay hopeful when so many things pull us towards loneliness?” Blanck muses on how to keep hope and determination pure.
*Sharon Van Etten appears courtesy of JagJaguwar.
Sebastian Blanck Links: