Artist Kelli Scarr follows up her sophomore album Dangling Teeth (Silence Breaks, 2012) with No Rush, an aural contemplation over a decade in the making. The album is a spiritual journey of genre-defying devotional songs, incorporating a meditative use of space and exploring what happens when reflection is both the inspiration for the creation, and the intention for the listener.
The album simultaneously follows and serves as a radical departure from the tradition of devotional songs. While the music is used—as in a classic devotional—as a tool to promote introspection and inspire a sense of grounding, with No Rush Scarr also challenges how we arrive at that place. Singular sonic experimentation builds a shimmering backdrop for Scarr’s purposefully considered lyrics and exquisitely rendered vocals that have a hypnotic push pull, soaring in some parts, softly meandering in others. The effect is transporting.
Recorded over the course of two years at producer and musician Nate Martinez’s home studio in Brooklyn, New York, the album relies on his expertise as a professional sound therapist. Martinez mixed Scarr’s voice with bowls, drones, bowed bass, trumpet, piano, percussion and an expansive palette of electronics. After spending years as touring musicians, often performing in New York City, both Scarr and Martinez felt an increasing sense of disconnection from their chosen medium—live shows were overwhelmed by digital interference, and maintaining a pure connection to the music and the audience had become increasingly difficult.
When they set out to record the songs that would become No Rush, Scarr and Martinez’s goal was to listen and respond, not force an outcome; to take the time and space to reconnect with their music. “I wanted to create an album that made me feel the way I do when I listen to music in a church—that feeling of reflection and resonance that connects you to the wider world,” said Scarr. “So much in today’s culture distracts us from ourselves and the truth of our experience. I hope No Rush provides a contemplative space for the listener.”
No Rush will be released on April 6, 2021, a little over one year into global quarantine. Many will have spent much of that time confined to their homes and largely isolated from their communities. Though No Rush was recorded two years ago its purpose seems especially prescient as we are now collectively yearning more than ever for a sense of connection and grounding. “Sometimes the only way to arrive is by going through the experience of chaos and free fall,” says Martinez.
No Rush aligns with and honors the power of time and space. This is music designed not just for deep listening, but, as the album’s title implies, for slow listening. The process of creating it was unhurried and it’s intended to be enjoyed in a similar manner. A ritual for tuning in and slowing down.
No Rush can be found on all streaming platforms and is available for purchase in the VJM store.
released April 6, 2021
Kelli Scarr: voice, synth, koto
Penelope & Lake Lattrell: voice
Annie Lynch: voice
Garth Stevenson: bass, piano
Rich Stein: percussion
Dan Brantigan: trumpet, evi
Nate Martinez: guitar, bass, synth, bells, electronics, shruti box, percussion
Produced and mixed by Nate Martinez
Mastered by Rich Morales
Album Cover Photo by Colleen Longo
Album Cover Design by Bianca Farrow
Recorded at Awave Sound Lab in Brooklyn, New York
All Rights Reserved: Vera Jean Music (2021)
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