JED AND LUCIA - SUPER HUMAN HEART (MP3)


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Track Previews

01. April Showers
02. Apostrophe
03. The Park
04. You Were Made Of Stone
05. Coin Falls On Pavement
06. On Lockdown
07. A Second Later
08. Painted Stairs
09. Hand Out
10. Super Human Heart
11. Circle Of Stones
12. California
13. Vapors

Like
the distant cousins of Jose Gonzales and Boards of Canada, Jed and
Lucia’s songs have a pastoral sensibility that has been warped
by their love for electronics. “Superhuman Heart”
is a kaleidoscope of tunes dreamed-up and recorded in the hills, parks
and woods of North Berkeley. Their vocal harmonies smack of classic
1960s Cali-pop, but Jed and Lucia’s acoustic guitars and
poignant lyrics are subverted by sun-drenched synths and bass lines that
add a subtle dose of urban bump and grind. Folksy songs are transformed
by acid-tripped atmospherics in a soundtrack for creatures that crawl
from the back woods into the city at nightfall.

Jed
and Lucia are Emma Lucia and Mark Reveley. Mark comes from Bainbridge
Island, Washington, while Emma grew up as a second generation Swede in
Los Angeles. They met and started making music together in 1995, playing
together in various groups until starting Jed and Lucia in 2005,
self-releasing their first album, Candles in Daylight, in 2006. They
lived together in various desert outposts at the fringes of Los Angeles
until 2008 when they moved up to the Bay Area and to the hills of
Berkeley. In 2009 they started a side project, Kite in the Air, with
Mike Dillon aka Mike Genius, releasing 2 EPs.

“We'd
talked about moving to the Bay for maybe a decade and finally made it
happen,” says Emma. “We have a lot of friends who
live here, love the open creative energy, and living close to Tilden
Park is such an inspiration,” she says. “We pretty
much just make music and drink tea and walk around the park in a
daze,” adds Mark.

At
their home studio, the couple co-produce music, sharing ideas
they’ve come up with on their own time. “Our sound
is refraction times two….it’s kinda’ like
the refraction cancels,” jokes Mark. “This is
basically what it’s like to live and work and write and record
in the same house together. We pretty much spend our day refracting
each other,” he explains.

They
also split lyrical writing duties on an album that includes dreamy and
cinematic songs called, and about, “California.”
There are also songs about friendship like “You Were Made of
Stone,” which Emma says is the story of watching a friend let
go of their dreams. And, not surprisingly, there are songs about living
together, like the stripped-down “On Lockdown.”
Emma, 7 months pregnant at the time of writing, explains how her
physical condition affected this record. “It's definitely a
surreal experience, I think I am a bit more spacey these days and calmer
which has made recording a really enjoyable relaxed experience. It is a
creative space to be in, so creating music at the same time is pretty
cool. Being pregnant for me kind of feels like being in a dream state
all the time.”

But
the album isn’t all floaty and dreamy. Tidy beats and trippy
electronics poke their way through, and washes of glassy synths bathe
the songs, adding a unique edge to their sound. “I usually
take over production at a certain point because I'm kind of o.c.d. and
Emma has better things to do like go outside and exist in the world and
things like that. I'll work on the tracks and play it for Emma and her
fresh ear will usually hear what is and is not working, and where things
should go,” explains Mark. On tracks like “Coin
Falls on Pavement,” “Hand Out” and
“The Park” their vocals ride persuasive bass lines
and bouncy beats, whereas on “April Showers” and
“Circle of Stones” the beats take back seat to
swirling atmospherics.

A
casual listen to Superhuman Heart might throw off references to Boards
of Canada, Juana Molina, or School of Seven Bells. Mark and Emma list a
much more eclectic list of influences that were in-play during the
process of making Superhuman Heart. These include Kurt Vile, Stars of
the Lid, Mt Kimbie, El Perro Del Mar, Tim Hecker, Viv Albertine, Stina
Nordenstam, Shawn Lee, Tuung, Fever Ray, Caribou, Tycho, Egberto
Gismonti, Lykki Li and many more. And the musical backgrounds for Jed
and Lucia are equally as interesting. For a couple of months in 2001
Mark travelled Ghana, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Senegal and Mali studying
music and collecting old African funk, afrobeat and highlife records.
“I ditched all my possessions and brought back my weight limit
in vinyl,” he says. Upon his return he started Afrodisiac
Records with a couple partners, releasing two African funk comps,
"Booniay" and "The Danque" with Mad Professor and Scientist providing
remixes. Mark is also active in the electronic groups Meterhead, and
Wzrdz and played in Dakah, the 30+ piece Hop Hop orchestra, “I
was the jaw harpist. I think I was probably the only hip hop jaw
harpist around. Now I don't think there are any. There might be a reason
for that....” Drawing on her heritage Emma has written an
albums-worth of songs in Swedish and is hoping to record them soon.

While
Jed and Lucia have their hands full with family matters they aim to
continue writing, producing and recording as much as possible.

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