Advance Base is the solo project of Chicago, IL singer/songwriter Owen Ashworth (formerly of Casiotone for the Painfully Alone).
Using a two-handed arsenal of electric piano, Omnichord, samplers, effect pedals & drum machines, Ashworth builds minimalist, heavy-hearted, & nostalgia-obsessed electronic ballads around his conversational baritone. Part synth pop & part indie folk, the warm sound of Advance Base has been described as “lo-fi,” “depressed” & “weirdly uplifting.”
Claire Cronin is an interdisciplinary artist and scholar who writes poetry and non-fiction, but her first and deepest identity is as a singer-songwriter. Big Dread Moon showcases Cronin’s distinct dark folk songwriting style, honed through years of self-released recordings and Cronin’s literary work. The title of the album comes from a poetry manuscript that Cronin abandoned and which seems to haunt the record in its images and mood. Cronin plays with abstraction and symbolic narrative here, using language that is self-consciously gothic and religious but also grounded in the ordinary world. These songs are personal and emotional but not confessional. They are interested in psychic states.
Big Dread Moon follows Came Down a Storm, a 2016 collaboration between Cronin and Deerhoof guitarist John Dieterich. In contrast to the experimentation and tonal shifts of that recording, Big Dread Moon is more delicate and self-contained. These are lyrically-driven songs based around Cronin’s voice and electric guitar and her partner Ezra Buchla’s viola, approximating the live sound of the duo. Big Dread Moon both marks a return to an earlier mode of writing for Cronin and also a coming into her own as an artist.
Big Dread Moon was recorded and mixed at Figure 8 in Brooklyn by Shahzad Ismaily and mastered with additional mixing by Matt Mehlan.
Cronin was born in Los Angeles but has been living in Athens, Georgia. She and Buchla will soon move back to the west coast.
Orindal Records will release Big Dread Moon on vinyl & digital formats on June 14, 2019.