New artist The Wheel’s self-titled debut album is out now on Lakeshore Records. Based in Portland, OR, The Wheel is the musical alias of longtime producer and session guitarist Avram Brown who tapped his good friend Raymond Richards (Local Natives, LCD Soundsystem) to co-produce and engineer the entire project. Fans can now listen to the album on all streaming platforms and purchase the new record on vinyl and CD here.
Additional collaborators on the album include violist/arranger Kyleen King (Brandi Carlile, The Decemberists), recording engineer Larry Crane (Elliot Smith) and the late great Ralph Carney (Tom Waits, The B-52’s) whose contributions on baritone saxophone and bass clarinet are sadly the last tracks he ever recorded.
The official music video for The Wheel’s lead single “Coyote Mask” can be found here.
The recording process of Brown’s self-titled album initially stuttered in fits and starts. After laying down some skeletal tracks in at least three studios, it took parking his own recording gear and a mountain of guitar pedals at B-Side Studios in southeast Portland to finally get his stride. Brown set up shop as a resident producer at B-Side where he worked with artists ranging in styles from bluegrass to dub reggae. Inspired by the studio’s blue knotty pine wood paneling and the endless burning of incense, Brown created the body of work that inevitably became his debut record under his new moniker, The Wheel. Combining melodic vocally-driven lyricism with lush kaleidoscopic production, The Wheel spins open a portal that weaves indie folk-rock into psychedelic dreamscapes on this new LP.
Of the album, Brown notes, “I have a significant backlog of songs that I’ve written over the years, but I also had some fresh ones born from the transformational pain of splitting up with my life partner of 14 years. It took some discipline, but I was able to narrow the focus to a cohesive body of work with its own sound and feel. This is definitely a record that wants to be listened to as a complete piece of work and I’m grateful to anyone who takes the time to experience it as such.”Avram Brown grew up between New York City and Rochester, NY where his earliest musical inspiration stemmed from his parents’ ‘60s and ‘70s-heavy record collection. With folk music roots that ran deep, poetry and songwriting came early, giving way to a fascination with improvised music. Ultimately, The Wheel has come full circle to blend the elegant simplicity of a lyric with the never-ending sparks of reverb-drenched electric melodies.
Love & Truth
River Is Up
Speak Like Droning
Can't Find You
Almuerzo Con Carney