New Release: Cass McCombs – The Wine of Lebanon

Photo Credit: Silvia Grav

Cass McCombs has released the new standalone single ‘The Wine of Lebanon’ in partnership with Universal Audio and their new recording system LUNA. The transcendent song comes along with footage of McCombs recording it in UA’s debut LUNA session.

“‘The Wine of Lebanon’ is a song that centres around the line: ‘what can I offer you?’,” McCombs explains. “It is about ritual offerings to the departed and wine as allegory for life. The band comprised of Dan Iead on electric guitar and pedal steel, Frank Locrasto on Rhodes and synth, Noga Shefi on bass, Yoni Shelig on drums and myself on piano.”

McCombs then continues, “they were still writing the code for LUNA in the control room as we were recording, which was thrilling. It felt a little, I mean very little, like being part of the crew of a space shuttle launch. Everyone’s guts were in knots. The ashtrays were overflowing. A nervous nation watched on live television. Families embraced in anticipation, fearing the worst. I jest. The recording went smooth and was a blast to do. We recorded the strings at UA’s studio in Santa Cruz a couple of months later with an arrangement by MAGIK*MAGIK ORCHESTRA.”

The first in a series of upcoming LUNA sessions, producer/engineer Jacquire King (Tom Waits, Norah Jones) used LUNA to garner larger-than-life sounds on McComb’s stunning composition.

“Our goal with LUNA was to inspire musicians, and make it easy to capture creativity when it hits,” said Universal Audio CEO Bill Putnam Jr. “We’re thrilled to deliver on this promise alongside world-class artists like Cass McCombs and Jacquire King, and to give musicians an inside look at their epic recording session.”

Cass McCombs released his 9th album Tip of the Sphere in February of 2019. McCombs is a transient storyteller interested in words, music and dreams, and Tip of the Sphere presents an artist trying to make sense of it all through a relentless, ever searching creative process. Throughout, he floats through a suite of songs driven by a journeying mysticism and dark grace. While most of his albums have been pieced together in different studios over an extended period of time, Tip of the Sphere was recorded quickly and with a strong sense of purpose at Figure 8 Studios in Brooklyn.

McCombs also released his debut book of poetry last year, titled Toy Fabels with Spurl Editions. A 72-page book of poetry with illustrations by McCombs, reading Toy Fabels feels like traveling through McCombs’ singular itinerant experiences — high and low voices merge, as childhood and adulthood, the east and west coasts, paganism and religion, twist into each other. A central theme is memory, especially a sort of half-remembered, half-obscured — but never idealised — landscape of Northern California. This remembered landscape is always in flux, shaping McCombs’ poetic language.


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