Small Sur Bare Black

Small Sur’s last record We Live in Houses Made of Wood was in heavy rotation in my household last year. So when Bob Keal came by the studio to have his next record Bare Black mastered, I was honored.

Small Sur is a collective run by songwriter Bob Keal. Bob writes beautifully haunting songs that remind me of being outside and traveling, of the feeling of moving from one place to another. Or simply leaning back against a tree staring at the stars. This newest record takes you to a place with insanely crafted melodies, occasionally droney textures, and haunting minimalist arrangements. Multi-instrumentalists Austin Stahl and Andy Abelow join Bob on this record.

Bare Black was released last week for Aural Slates Records. The sample song below is a complete reworking of a track recorded for the 2008 Friends and Friends of Friends Compilation on their former label Tender Loving Empire.

Other guests include Geoff Graham (bass; member of Lower Dens/Jana Hunter), Susan Alcorn (pedal steel) and Natasha Tylea-Cooke (vocals). Engineered by Chris Freeland and mixed by Adam Cooke, whose collective credits include Beach House (Sub Pop), Double Dagger (Thrill Jockey), Lower Dens/Jana Hunter (Gnomonsong), Oxes (Monitor), and Wye Oak (Merge).


Produced by Chris Freeland

Mastered by Mat Leffler-Schulman