Port O'Brien's Cambria Goodwin Releases Debut Album 'Electric Hereafter' as Buy Gold

Posted: 24 September, 2014

Buy Gold cat web2

We're very excited to announce the release of Electric Hereafter, the fantastic debut solo album from Buy Gold, aka Alaska-based singer and songwriter Cambria Goodwin (ex-Port O'Brien).

Port O'Brien, who broke up in 2011, were never your your typical indie-folk band. The band’s two songwriters, Cambria and Van Pierszalowski, spent each summer in Alaska, both of them working long hours, Cambria in a remote bakery, Van on a fishing boat. In the few moments they could, they wrote, separately at first, coming together when they could to piece their parts into songs. Port O’Brien’s vital indie folk had an affectless authenticity –– when Goodwin and Pierszalowski sung of isolation, the sea and frozen wilds, it wasn’t mere songwriterly invention: these were songs from a vast landscape they’d come to know.

Before the making of 2009’s Threadbare, Cambria lost her younger brother. The band soldiered on, the experience coloring what would be the band’s final album. They continued to tour relentlessly, until they couldn’t go on any more. In the wake of Port O’Brien’s demise, Cambria was unsure what would happen next with her music. Moving to Portland, Oregon, she continued to travel back and forth to Alaska, to write and play, but something was missing. For a while, she says, she lost the desire to record.

Enter The Papercuts’ Jason Quever. Producer, engineer, and Cambria’s close friend, Quever, who’d helped produce a couple of Port O’Brien’s albums, managed to convince Cambria to continue on with her music, and eventually to record the songs that would become her striking debut solo album, Electric Hereafter, as Buy Gold. Together with another friend, Seawolf’s Joey Ficken, the three hunkered down in San Francisco’s Pan American Studios to commit Cambria’s songs to tape, Cambria financing the record by selling antiques and making wedding cakes.

Buy Gold’s debut album is the sound of renewal, of moving beyond coping and learning to live again, of finding present joy in a world that is capable of delivering ineffable tragedy. For an album that deals with loss, grief and betrayal, Electric Hereafter is remarkably life-affirming, its ten songs evoking the land that provided their inspiration –– expansive, fortifying and often breathtakingly beautiful, from the cathartic ‘Plastic Past’ to the buoyant, horn-led ‘Television Laughter’, to the slow-burning, dusk-lit ‘Back Down’.

Musically, Electric Hereafter hews more closely to Port O’Brien’s quieter, emotionally resonant moments, Buy Gold forgoing the former band’s punchy, sing-along anthems for a sound at once ethereal and deeply rooted, one that at times recalls ‘70s West Coast astral folk, at others the more pastoral British kind. In the end, though, Electric Hereafter doesn’t much sound like anything else. A response to such an achingly personal set of circumstances, borne out amidst a landscape as big as the night sky, Electric Hereafter is the sound of moving on, of letting go, of finding in immensity some real human comfort.   

Quever’s production is clear and intimate, a warm, uncluttered ambience of pedal steel, piano, organ and horns that never crowds Cambria’s plaintive acoustic guitar, nor her singular voice. Cambria’s transporting voice lies at the heart of the album; an instrument both sweet and mournful, it radiates with the wonder, resilience and hurt that imbue these songs with such directness and feeling.    

It's a generous and beautiful album, and it's out now digitally everywhere on Gaga Digi.


Pete : 24 September, 2014

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