Sub Pop Records announced that the new album by Northern Kentucky singer/songwriter Daniel Martin More will be released Jan. 18. In the Cool of the Day is Moore’s second solo release for Sub Pop (and third overall — his Dear Companion full-length collaboration with Louisville cellist/vocalist Ben Solee was issued by the label at the beginning of this year). The imprint has also made the first single from the forthcoming release available for free from the Sub Pop Web site as part of a mini-retrospective that includes a song from both of the previous albums. To download the three-song EP, click here, then find the widget that says "New Song Mini Comp" and register for it to be sent to your inbox.
The Seattle-based label that planted the seeds for the “Grunge Revolution” has retained its knack for putting out a high percentage of quality releases, but it has diversified and become wildly eclectic since the glory days of Mudhoney and Nirvana, with Moore’s signing being a perfect example. The Cold Spring, Ky., Indie Folk artist joins a wide-ranging current-day roster that includes New Zealand hipster comedy duo Flight of the Conchords, Death Cab for Cutie ElectroPop side project The Postal Service, Modern Folk guiding lights Iron and Wine and Fleet Foxes, spirited West African music hero Bassekou Kouyate and his Ngoni Ba, noisy, breakneck-packed Punk trio Male Bonding and stand-up comedian David Cross. Local native Greg Dulli — former frontman for Cincinnati heroes The Afghan Whigs, the label’s first east-of-the-Mississippi signing — is also a Sub Pop recording artist once again; the label has announced a Feb.
The promotional materials for In the Cool of the Day feature a lengthy essay/press release written by My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James, who produced the album (he also produced Dear Companion). It soulfully describes the album’s process, including the project’s genesis in the studios of local public radio station WVXU. Though James is not too skilled with capital letters (did he text it in?), his artistically insightful summary gives a great overview of In the Cool of the Day. Check it out below:
Daniel Martin Moore's "In The Cool of the Day" all started with an old piano, situated in the heart of cincinnati's WVXU studios. what had been scheduled to be a routine interview and in-studio performace turned into otherworldly inspiration when moore sat down and plunked away at the old 9 foot steinway, once used as the main instrument by the cincinnati symphony orchestra. god spoke to moore that day thru the ancient piano's reverberant tones- and expanded upon an idea that had already planted itself in the young singer-songwriter's head some time before: to make a "spiritual" album of time tested family gospel favorites remembered from growing up, but to also add a few new tunes of his own in the same vein. said god to moore thru the bass notes resounding off the old soundboard: "make this album for your family- but also release it unto the world as your next studio recording."
So... inspired by god, the old piano, and the good energy of the radio station studio itself, moore called upon longtime friend and drummer daniel joseph dorff to help him make his dream of a modern but time-tested family friendly spiritual recording a reality. moore and dorff sat down at the old concert grand and starting working thru the songs of moore's past...reflecting on how he remembered his mother and grandmother singing them to him as a child...or belting them out himself with the choir on sundays in church. taking those memories and melding them with his present feelings on spirituality to make something new and modern...a fresh take on "gospel" music all his own.
They set out to keep things simple- to let the beauty inherent in the songs shine through, but to most importantly have fun and not feel bound to the classic interpretations of the songs...changing a lot of them in small ways- leaving out a verse here and there and even adding some new ones...aiming to present the songs as moore remembered them- a reflection of, and meditation on, growing up with this musical tradition, rather than just making a paint-by-numbers "gospel" album...and that is the beauty that can be found when listening to "in the cool of the day." a spiritual record that may have come from growing up in one particular tradition, but one built to speak to the heart of any soul, from any tradition or walk of life that god, while sometimes called by one particular name, is anywhere and everywhere one could ever want "god" to be...present always in the love we give to and receive from those around us. as the great marvin gaye once sang: "god is love. love is god."
(Photo of Daniel Martin Moore by Michael Wilson)