Came Down a Storm is an album that creates a world. Through Claire Cronin’s deep, intimate voice come songs of wreckage and redemption. A published poet and English Ph.D. student as well as a musician, Cronin uses images and symbols to craft songs that reach beyond the personal. She sings of death in a field, death at sea, dreams of dying, and a vision of a future where death is no longer allowed. Yet the music is not depressing; even in its darkest lines, these songs aim to float.
The album is a collaboration between Cronin and Deerhoof guitarist John Dieterich, who met by chance at a Los Angeles show and began writing songs together long-distance. After sending recordings and ideas back and forth over email for a year, Cronin joined Dieterich at his house in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to record Came Down a Storm. It was mixed with Jay Pellici at New, Improved Recordings in Oakland, California, where the full instrumentation was put in place. The album features Pellici and Chris Vatalaro on drums and Ezra Buchla and Heather Trost on strings.
The spare, melancholy style of Cronin’s previous self-released work is evident in this album, but the music created with Dieterich takes Came Down a Storm beyond the folk genre. Cronin’s voice recalls Karen Dalton or Jason Molina in its sincerity and ache—plaintive and burnished with a kind of dark gold throughout. The instruments build around her singing: breaking to crescendos, driving emotional currents, or providing lively counterpoint to the lyric’s funereal themes.
Cronin will tour this Summer and Fall with Buchla, performing pared-down arrangements of these songs and others.
released May 6, 2016
Claire Cronin: words, voice, and guitar
John Dieterich: guitars, sounds, arrangements, production.
Ezra Buchla: viola (the Unnatural, Dreamt the Sea). Jay Pellicci: drums (In the Field, Dark Water, Dreamt the Sea). Heather Trost: violin (The Unnatural, Meet Me Undertakers, Dreamt the Sea). Chris Vatalaro: drums (Valentine).
All Songs by Claire Cronin and John Dieterich.
Art and Layout by Marcos Sánchez.
Recorded by Jay Pellicci and John in John's closet.
Parts of Dreamt the Sea recorded at New, Improved Recording.
Mixed with Jay Pellicci at New, Improved Recording.
Mastered by John.
Thanks to Ezra, Jay, Heather, Chris, Ben Goldberg, Keiko Beers and Drake Hardin.