A Series Of... Mostly Nothing
Release date: Sep 24, 2021
Expected to ship: November
Vinyl includes a 24x12" fold out poster and lyric insert.
A Series Of... Mostly Nothing bundles include:
- Sunset 12" vinyl
- Galaxy t-shirt
- 3" kiss cut sticker
James Barrett's "before" looks a lot like yours. After releasing his debut LP The Price of Comfort, the Scranton singer-songwriter moved onto his next planning phase, stuck between eras labeled by plaintive acoustic tracks and the ringing clarity of a full-band effort. In October 2019, Barrett began writing what would become A Series Of... Mostly Nothing, a modest name for his most realized work yet. It's a love letter to the hushed splendor of The National and the spaced-out bombast of Angels & Airwaves, embellished with a theatrical identity boosted by live strings, horns, and good friend Amanda Rogan lending vocals to many moments.
As 2020 grew more unpredictable by the day, A Series Of... Mostly Nothing could've imploded. Barrett, largely a solo artist with Jake Checkoway (Sleeping Patterns, Origami Angel) as his long-time producer, brought in an ensemble cast to flesh out the experience. Studio time became unfeasible, so the album was pieced together from drum tracks recorded in Los Angeles and sessions taken from a tiny house transformed into a creative epicenter. Disjointed as it was, the final product never feels incomplete, instead seamless and layered. Barrett's stadium-rock M.O. bleeds through most of the runtime, from the ironclad hook surging through "Love Song in 2020" and the urgent catharsis propelling "The Art of Letting Go." James even gives equal time to softer reflections, citing piano-centric "Yellow Paint" and "U-Haul" as balancing out the album's rockist posture.
"In my head it feels like I am stuck in a play, revisiting the same thoughts continuously for months or years the same way Broadway players relive the same production every night for years," Barrett explains of the album's hypnotic drama. Like its stage influences, A Series Of... Mostly Nothing finds time to include a reprise while circling around themes of heartbreak, isolation, and memory. But be warned, as Barrett says, "emotionally, it's all over the place."
Written by James Cassar
All songs written and performed by James Barrett. Horn arrangements by Jesse Morvan. String arrangements by James Barrett.
Amanda Rogan - Backing vocals
Billy Gerrity - Drums / percussion
Jesse Morvan - Trumpet on tracks 1, 7, 11, and guitar on track 9
James Palko - Violin / viola on tracks 6, 8, 12
Teddy Lambert - Cello on tracks 1, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12
Billy Gartrell - Backing vocals on tracks 6, 12
All songs recorded, mixed, and mastered by Jake Checkoway at The Mini House. “Oh My God” recorded at Wachusett Recording Studio in MA. Drums / percussion recorded by Billy Gerrity in Los Angeles, CA. All violin and viola recorded by James Palko in Nashua, NH. Early demo production by Jesse Morvan. Assistant Production on “The Art of Letting Go” by Jared Feldman.
Artwork by Alyssa Napora. Layout by Joshua Higgins.
- A Series Of...
- Oh My God
- The Art of Letting Go
- Since I Left the Salon
- I Thought You Had Died
- Love Song in 2020
- Yellow Paint
- Master Plan
- Mostly Nothing
- Thinking Of A Place
100 - Sunset
200 - Gold Nugget