Nick Corbo of LVL UP shares new single ‘Stranger to the One’
Debut album Heaven’s Just a Cloud due 22nd October
via Danger Collective Records
Spirit Was (the project of multi-instrumentalist, illustrator and ex-LVL UP bassist Nick Corbo) has released its latest single ‘Stranger to the One’, which Corbo says is “Mostly about daydreaming”.
His forthcoming debut album Heaven’s Just a Cloud, in which he explores heavy, distorted instrumentation and experimental techniques, is due 22nd October via Danger Collective Records.
On Heaven’s Just a CloudCorbo masterfully hones in on every detail, weaving them into vast networks throughout his entire catalogue and artwork. In its density, Heaven’s is threaded with memorable lyrics and recapitulating musical themes that guide the listener. It’s haunting, beautiful scenes of the natural world feel just as represented in the warm and classic sounds of country rock as they do in the dark, droning, shadows of Corbo’s doom and black metal influences.
Spirit Was allows this raw tonality to shine within the new single release. A robust and truly raw ensemble from every account. Rigorous pitches and deep low-end distortion all unite to show this magnificent structure to the new track. Against this heavy landscape, the delicate vocal tones emerge and bring fragility to the forefront of the arrangement, meandering this emotive course through the thicker tones. The instrumentation devours the audience with its endless complexities emitting from the textures whilst this distinct tone becomes an alluring hook. Once again Spirit Was builds this vast landscape that resonates with such expression and of this mighty substance.
Spirit Was feels at home among the technical, melodic songwriting of Harry Nilsson’s studio recordings, or the dusty, psychedelic oblivion of Earth and Wolves in the Throne Room. A departure from his previously collaborative recordings, the album features Corbo on drums, bass, guitar, and keyboards, fusing sweet, intentional melodies and vocal harmonies over a slamming, distorted rhythm section.
After receiving a recommendation from his former bandmate and Trace Mountains singer/songwriter Dave Benton, Corbo called on engineer Matt Labozza to record Heaven’s Just A Cloud. Principal tracking for the record began at Studio G in Brooklyn where Nick performed drums for the album, accompanied by talented cellist, Rashaad Jones on a majority of the tracks. Corbo and Laboza then finished the recordings in a makeshift studio above Division St Guitars in Peekskill, NY. As the recording began taking shape, Corbo reached out to longtime collaborator and Crying singer, Z Santos, to record additional vocals for a bulk of the album remotely from their home in Olympia, WA. Keyboardist and saxophonist Griffin Koelbel was also called on to add beautiful dark synthesizers to some additional studio material for the album, which was finally completed with mastering from Edsel Holden in Nashville, TN
Outside of Spirit Was, Corbo is a professional producer, musician, and visual artist who, over the past 10 years, has produced a catalogue of studio albums, an extensive collection of hand-made and individually illustrated distortion pedals, and a large portfolio of intricate visual art, including the pen and ink drawings that adorn this album’s artwork. Corbo has a decade of experience writing and performing in bands in New York City, primarily notable groups LVL UP and Crying. Between the two groups he released 5 studio albums working alongside exciting record labels like Double Double Whammy in New York and Sub Pop Records in Seattle; and toured extensively in the US, UK, and Europe, performing at festivals like SXSW, and Primavera Sound in Barcelona.
Overall Corbo wrote a third of the songs for LVL UP, including the daydreamy “Spirit Was” that would later inspire the name for his next project. With Spirit Was, Corbo continues a tradition of self referencial compositions; fans of his previous work in LVL UP will recognise recurring themes that have appeared throughout the band’s discography. Heaven’s Just a Cloud is out October 22nd, 2021 via Danger Collective Records.
1. I Saw the Wheel
2. Oblivion Banter
3. Stranger To The One
4. Proven Water
5. Here Comes My Man
6. Olive Branch
7. Heavens Just A Cloud
8. Golden Soul
9. Spirit Was
10. Come Back To The House
11. Caught In A Dream
Pre-order Heaven’s Just a Cloud: https://dangercollectiverecords.limitedrun.com/products/698068