"This is the closest we've got to making a record sound the way we want it to sound...it's minimal, raw, and simple, and the songs are front and center, not the production." -The Sideshow Tragedy
The Sideshow Tragedy’s first two albums express a full pallet of instrumentation with mandolin, banjo, backup singers, keys and percussion. The songs were scrutinized, mixed, and polished until they were “perfect”. That's not the case with the new album. Here, The Sideshow Tragedy set out to release a collection of songs that more accurately reflected the feeling of their live performance. They wanted to make an album that was gutsy and full of energy, something they felt was missing on the cleaner and more arranged works they had created in the past.
To capture this raw sound, The Sideshow Tragedy left the session players out of the picture, and they didn’t spend two weeks in the studio doing a ton of overdubs. This time the band got down to business with a day of live band recording and then two days of vocal tracking and a few guitar overdubs. Guitar, bass and drums are the meat of this album and frame Nathan Singleton’s poetic lyrics with a mix of blues and punk influenced music. Speaking about the simple instrumentation, Singleton says, "I wanted the National Resonator guitars to really cut through the mix on this album, rather than have them buried under mandolins and keyboards and stuff...it's the only kind of guitar I play live, so it made sense. With the exception of the songs "No Time" and "Ecclesiastes", the only guitars you hear on the record are Nationals, either mic'ed acoustically or run through various amps. Just like we do it live."
With the release of the Sideshow Tragedy, the band has made a career-defining record--as an eponymous release should be. Thick with bluesy punk, indie-folk melancholy and rock & roll swagger, The Sideshow Tragedy is the best work yet from a band that continues to evolve and top itself with every release.