Sunset Rubdown was once the moniker under which Spencer Krug released low fidelity solo recordings. The project has long since evolved into a full band, and Dragonslayer is the third full-length recorded by the whole group. Besides Krug, it features the three musicians who originally signed on: Jordan Robson-Cramer on drums, guitar and keys, Michael Doerksen on guitar and bass, and Camilla Wynne Ingr on keys, percussion and vocals. And now, for the first time, newest member Mark Nicol can be heard on bass, drums, and percussion.
Sunset Rubdown's previous release on Jagjaguwar, Random Spirit Lover, was a studio-built album, in that much of it was written while recording (built up in separate layers, with almost all the vocals needing to be overdubbed). With the new album, the band wanted to try something completely different. It was a very conscious decision, and not a "natural progression." The result is an album that feels honest, natural, and straightforward. The musicianship is left in the open, unassisted by studio magic, and the songs are left to justify for themselves their own screwy pop-rock existence.
Dragonslayer was recorded in the fall of 2008. Sunset Rubdown hope that the true strength of this new album is a hidden complexity that emerges slowly from within the straight production and raw musicianship, and from what sounds at first to be an only slightly skewed approach to pop. They hope it's like that one friend of yours who looks unassuming and normal, but once you get to know him it's obvious he's basically crazy.
The woven lyrics and singular songwriting style heard in Sunset Rubdown invoke a mythological world, where magical narratives and tiny metaphors give shape to ordinary objects in the room; sometimes beautiful, sometimes beastly. The moniker was first born to bare the solo bedroom recordings of Spencer Krug, but has since evolved into a full-fledged band. Now enter Sunset Rubdown's third full-length record, "Random Spirit Lover", featuring twelve songs that bleed in and out of each other, mixing portents with theatrics, confusions with conversions. The dark glamour of the music beneath the half-baked revelations in rhyme creates a tone of high drama, blown-out and overt, but the stage is wild and the roles aren't clear, so the sincerity of the work and the spontaneity of the recordings can't help but shine through the formality of structure.