Today we are pleased to bring to you via Joy on Fire, Three Red Crowns second album If There Was a New Way. We hope you are as blown away by it as we here at PR have been! Pick your poison at the link... https://smarturl.it/JoFTRCNewWay Enjoy! <3
Joy on Fire presents: If There Was a New Way by Three Red Crowns
On Three Red Crownsʼ second album, recorded at Mobtown Studios by Mat Leffler-Schulman (as was 3RC’s self-titled debut, rereleased by Procrastination Records earlier this year), the group added marimba, played by percussionist Shelly Purdy, to the already rich instrumentation of strings, saxes, bass, vocals and drums—all featured beautifully on the track “Rouge,” composed by 3RC co-founder and saxophonist Anna Meadors.
“Rouge” is part of the second of two suites on this album: Bloodworth. Bloodworth also features the introduction of electric and resonator guitars into the mix, creating a Southern Gothic vibe on the title track of the suite, this feeling heightened by Rajni Sharma’s lyrics (“I am a dying breed, in a dying world, in our pay, for our god, but under their cameras, burdens of perjury”) and dramatic vocal performance.
Andrew Histand joined the group for Bloodworth on second cello, played trough an octave pedal, to function more like a bass, alongside Domenica Romagni’s profound, precise, and beautiful first cello performance throughout the album. If There Was a New Way also celebrates Jim Hannah’s introduction to the group. Jim, a deeply loved and respected percussionist in the Baltimore scene, adds a snaky groove to the band (a bit different than the Bonham-stomp provided by master kit player Rob Parrish on the first 3RC album) and there’s a Rolling Stones vibe to some of the albums finale, “19 Crescent.”
The new energy of this version of the group comes together most profoundly on the transition between the tracks “Arrival” and “If .3 was 8 Billion.” The string rhythms on “Arrival,” a piece that is almost Baroque in sound, morph into percussion parts—stark at first—and the feeling of “If .3” is an adventure into uncharted and dangerous territory—like an early Warner Herzog film, or a remix of the Cascade remix by The Future Sound of London, as if played by (mostly) live musicians. On this track, which culminates in a Tibetan-like ritual, Jim plays a dozen or so percussion instruments that he brought to the studio in his percussion-bag-of-tricks, playing and improvising off the rhythmic cells that Anna and I composed. To further the composition, and expand on the loop-driven percussion-stacking aspect of it, distorted bass is layered playing the same two-note part (one note with the octave bent) at six different octaves. This sets the stage for the entrance of 1) soprano sax—played through a Roland Space Echo, the result sounding like an other-worldly harmonica 2) a scratch track guitar solo that Mat put through the same echo box, turning it into a keeper, and 3) the entrance of a BIG BEAT. Anna’s soloing throughout the album is remarkable, and she goes from wild wailing to more meditative playing from song to song. On “If .3” she does both, and it is a delight to hear it on soprano, an instrument that she does not play that often.