The Suitcase Junket - The End is New [CD]
Release Date: 20th November 2020
1. Prelude / 2. Black Holes and Overdoses / 3. Light a Candle / 4. And Then There Was Fire / 5. Can't Look Away / 6. When the Battle is Won / 7. Jesus! King of the Dinosaurs / 8. Breathe Forever / 9. Last Man on the Moon / 10. Rock Bottom / 11. More
Matt Lorenz’s vision, manifest in The Suitcase Junket, has always existed in the tension between the grand and the solitary. Grand in its imagery and staging. Solitary in its thrift and self-reliance. What instruments he requires, Lorenz builds from scratch and salvage. What parts five players would perform, he plays alone. The spectacle of his one-man set bears constant comparison to icons of showmanship, genius, madness, and invention.
While audiences are initially captivated by that solitary form and skill, Lorenz is most serious about the writing. With this 2020 release, The End is New, his attention to the song and the sound overrides the how of it. Produced by trusted friend, producer and Los Lobos saxophonist Steve Berlin, and released by BMG’s new Americana label Renew Records, The End is New is an artist expanding, collaborating, matching his lyric power over eleven tracks with the epic range and narratives of his imagination.
“I told Steve I wanted to make a doom-folk record. That’s what I’d started calling my music when people asked,” says Lorenz. “Neither of us knew quite what that meant at the time, but I think we found out with The End is New. There’s a heavy mix of hope and desperation in the sound and lyrically I was trying to be a mirror to society using truth, myth, confessions and stories.”
Lorenz and Berlin polished off the record during the pandemic of 2020, recording and mixing from home studios over months of isolation. Berlin laid keys on several tracks, and sax on “When the Battle is Won.” J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.) makes a ripping appearance on “Light a Candle.” Studio musicians brought bass, percussion, vocals, clavinet, organ, drums. From the romp of “Jesus! King of the Dinosaurs” to the roar of “Can’t Look Away” the sound is bigger than ever. “The things I value are under attack and writing songs and making art are the methods I have for responding,” says Lorenz. “I have tried to use my observations and reflections of the world bent through my fun-house-mirror mind to show what I see. We can do better.”
Raised in Cavendish, Vermont, Matt Lorenz began playing piano at age five, and later took up violin, saxophone, and guitar. He now homesteads with chickens and rescue dogs in rural Western Massachusetts. ‘The Suitcase Junket’ is a nod to his longtime love of collecting old suitcases, including the one that serves as his bass drum, and to a secondary definition of junket, i.e. “a pleasure excursion.”
“The Suitcase Junket is a master of musical imagination” – NPR World Cafe
“The overall sound lands somewhere between the Avett Brothers and early, dirty Black Keys. There’s a Tom Waits-vibe in the fuzzy-megaphone reverb mic, and something ancient, near tribal, in his whistles and moans.” – The Boston Globe
“This guy’s a maniac — a one-man band, dumpster-guitar-playing maniac. Strumming a salvaged guitar, banging on a box of cutlery, and releasing a dynamite voice, The Suitcase Junket is the real deal — and one of the most electric souls we’ve ever seen on stage.” – MASS MoCA’s FreshGrass
“Most of the time making records for a living is both fun and edifying, but every once and a while I get rewarded with a simply superlative experience, and making The End Is New was certainly one of those. We had a blast building these ideas into songs, and Matt’s endless inventiveness made each workday a genuine pleasure. His talent is a unique gift, and I’m honored to be part of the story of this record.” – Steve Berlin, Producer