New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
The album was written and recorded over a 14 month period in Baltimore, Haslet, Fort Worth and Glasgow. Most of the recordings began in Mark's home studio, carving out a framework for songs to be expanded on in other settings. He shifted from a normal practice of playing or programming an entire album, to inviting others to play or engineer in ways that he seldom enlisted.
A renewed global interest in earlier work, kindled by the 2018 RVNG release: Few Traces, and geographical relocation (Baltimore to Texas
) provided a new writing environment, helping reanimate an approach to more traditional forms of songwriting. As has been with the majority of his recorded and visual output the album is largely an inwardly reflective work, with several elegies among the contained material.
A strong assistance in articulating two of the songs: Arcadian Evening, and Seaworthy Vessels are in Short Supply was provided by classical composer, Malcolm Lindsay, who provided invaluable help in rearranging and instrumentation. Also noted are the vocal contributions on Namesake for the Northern Sea, from Mara Miller ( Bosque Brown ).
Live dates in support of this recording will be announced later in the spring...
Mark Renner : Bio
Mark Renner was raised in the agrarian area of Upperco in northern Maryland. His early discoveries in painting, drawing, and music grew into deep, lifelong pursuits, often combining the disciplines.
His first recorded release, a seven-inch single, "Saints and Sages," was a drifting meditation on his rural upbringing. In the ensuing years, he would further develop an electronic, pastoral sound- bed, first hinted at on his 1986 debut album, All Walks of This Life, and further explored in subsequent recordings. The album captured the ears of Restless/Dimension label A&R who released Mark's second album, Painter's Joy, in the United States in 1988, and in turn, licensed the recording to the Emergo label, who released the album in Europe
later the same year.
By the early 90s, a shift in label personnel left Mark without a recording contract, and the decade saw just one recorded release, "Creatures That Die in a Season," a wordless electronic musical sound installation to accompany an exhibition of Mark's paintings and prints. He shifted his concentrated focus to painting and printmaking and eventually made his way back into recording music, experimenting with early versions of DAWs and various software programs. The fruit of this period, two entirely electronic recordings, Goldenacre and Memoirs of a Distracted Church Organist, were released in 2006, followed by A Desire for Forgetfulness (2007) and Enduring the Going Hence (2010).
In 2016, Mark was approached by RVNG label owner Matt Werth, who had discovered Mark's first album while crate-digging in Philadelphia. His idea was to put together an archival release of Mark's 1980s releases and demos. Released in 2018, Few Traces was greeted warmly on an international scale with glowing journalistic response (Pitchfork, MOJO, SPIN, Noisey, Rough Trade, Resident Aquarium Drunkard) and strong rotation throughout United States public, college, and independent radio, as well as BBC and European radio. Mark was invited to record a special session at WFMU later that year.
In early 2019, Mark released the wordless recording, Salt and Firewood, and was invited to play two special shows in Austin, Texas
by the journal Fields and Cultural Arts of Austin. Late 2019 saw the release of "The Prophet Bird" EP, containing the lead-in single to the forthcoming album Seaworthy Vessels are in Short Supply, which follows in early 2020.