“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.”
– Emily Dickinson
Open, the second EP by musical collective, Serendipity Club, is also the second release from emerging label, Murmuring Records. Rooted in ambient downtempo/chill-out, the EP draws inspiration from found objects and field recordings. Hints of Bonobo merge with memories of Thievery Corporation. While Serendipity Club’s first EP, Wide is more beat-forward and expansive, Open has a more dreamy, ephemeral feel. “Clam Shack” features collaboration with Brian E. King, Stu Dietz and Liz McBride of Boston’s Parks.
01 – Release
With lush layers of dub delay and delicate harp runs, “Release” is a a dreamy downtempo track that evokes a sense of nostalgia and melancholia. “That is all I can think of saying about it,” reveals Beth Burnett, “at least publicly.”
02 – Honey
“Honey,” came about one Friday afternoon, when friend and Berklee College of Music grad, Liam Sullivan, stopped by the studio with his upright bass,” explains Beth Burnett. “I’d prepared some half-dozen Pro Tools sessions with drum loops and ostinatos to jumpstart the jam – Liam on upright, me on electric piano – and recorded the results. Months later, when I dusted off the recordings, I found there was something very special about this track. So I added some new parts, including a toy piano, rearranged, remixed and generally fretted until I had what I liked. Then, uber-talented Matthew Girard came by and mixed and mastered the track to give it that added polish.”
03 – Blue
“Blue” is the audio portion of an abstract video produced by Beth Burnett’s husband, Robin. The video chronicles the emergence of daylight from pre-dawn until early morning. Birdsong intersects with trumpets, piano interacts with upright bass – all while developing into a crescendo of hope and life. The music, “Blue,” was featured in the award-winning documentary, REVEALED.
04 – Clam Shack
“Clam Shack” evolved out of a PledgeMusic campaign launched by Boston band Parks. Songwriter/producer Beth Burnett made a pledge in return for collaboration with Brian E. King, Stu Dietz and Liz McBride. The group got together in the summer of ’16, riffing ideas and recording guitar and synth lines over a rhythmic bed Burnett provided with sounds recorded in a cistern. “We had a blast working with Beth,” says Brian E. King. During the session, Liz McBride felt the track had a strong “road trip” vibe, so Matthew Girard and Burnett accentuated the laid back feel as they polished up the mix.
Artist (Musical Collective): Serendipity Club
Release Name: Wide
Label: Murmuring Records
Cat No: MRMR001
Release Date: March 04, 2017
Wide marks the debut of both musical collective, Serendipity Club and emerging label, Murmuring Records. Rooted in ambient downtempo/chill-out, the EP draws inspiration from found objects and field recordings. Hints of Bonobo merge with memories of Thievery Corporation. “I wanted Wide to reflect a broad range of moods and stories,” reflects Serendipity Club producer Beth Burnett, “and as it emerged, it became more beat-forward and experimental than I expected.”
Serendipity Club’s follow-up EP, Open, due March 16, 2017, is expected to reveal a more muted range of ambient downtempo/chill-out.
01 – Whist
“Whist” started with a friend in London rummaging vinyl in “Three For a Buck” bins. He sampled a drum break from one of his found treasures. “I sliced up the break,” explains Burnett, “and combined it with a whistle melody I’d accidentally pitched up a couple octaves. The result was this oddly ephemeral, almost dreamy sound that I really fell in love with.”
02 – Noche
Propelled by an upright bassline laid down by Liam Sullivan, “Noche” has a sensual Latin vibe. “Many, many layers were added,” according to Beth Burnett. “There must have been 60 tracks, maybe more,” making “Noche” a daunting mix for Matthew Girard. Burnett’s husband, Robin created a video for the track, reflecting the mood.
03 – Streets I Am
“Streets I Am” features a wide palette of world samples and found-object percussion. Upon hearing it, a friend of Serendipity Club wrote, “Sounds like Satie getting a bit smashed in a souk and trying to get everybody to join in making music with whatever is at hand.” We take that as a complement.
04 – Viennese
“I was in an antique shop in Portsmouth and found this dusty old 78, recorded in 1914,” explains Burnett. “so I brought it home, put it on my hand-crank Victrola and sampled it. As I worked with it, I kept wondering, ‘who was this woman singer – with this beautiful voice?'” Only after the song was finished did Beth realize the Victrola was set to the wrong speed, making the voice seem a woman’s when in fact it is that of famous Irish tenor John McCormack, singing “Lullaby from Jocelyn.” Serendipity works in strange ways.
“Viennese” features collaboration with Brian E. King, Stu Dietz and Liz McBride of Boston’s Parks.