'a hushed colision of Vic Chesnutt, Low and Jim O'Rourke... its wounded ambience both delicate and dense.' - UnCut (UK)
'The New York group's new album, The Sea Won't Take Long searches for the heart of alt-country and finds it in a junkyard full of old computer parts, caught between the melancholy narratives of singer-songwriters and the avant-folk ambience that swirls in the white noise of the city.'-Minneapolis City Pages
'Using truncated beats, samples taken from a mini-disc and well-placed sonic effects along with simple acoustic guitar, T. Griffin wrests intensely beautiful and enigmatic lyricisim from his acute observations. His third album, The Sea Won't Take Long is a junk-shop wired rusty heartbeat inhaling and exhaling some of the most masterful and touching songs to come out on record this year." - Delusions of Adequacy
'...sets himself apart from the folkie pack by backing his deep-droned laments and sea chanteys with clanky musique concrete he poetically refers to as "porch techno"' - The Village Voice
'...deep, haunting densely arranged songs that are part Tom Waits and part Low." - Minneapolis Star Tribune
T. Griffin Coraline is a collaboration between songwriter T. Griffin and violinist Catherine McRae based in Brooklyn, New York.
Their new CD, The Sea Won't Take Long was recorded down by Brooklyn's Gowanus canal in a basement that had last been an illegal $75 a month (!) apartment for Latvian sailors who worked on the docks in nearby Red Hook. "When we moved the recording equipment in, there was a cot, pictures on the wall, a bible and a hand-made medicine cabinet still stocked with prescriptions and icons," says Griffin. "As soon as we walked in I knew this record would be full of ghosts."
They left the pictures and the medicine cabinet, used the makeshift shower as a vocal booth and wired the whole basement with intercoms and microphones. They assembled a spectral, slow motion orchestra featuring members of godspeed you! black emperor, Lambchop, Melomane and Zaftig. And they watched as songs about airplanes, submarines and a wounded, magical New York took shape.
"Walking into that basement was like walking down into the world of the record," says McRae.
"The building had been owned by a ship's engineer and he had painted all the walls silver. It was like the studio became haunted by the people in the songs. We'd begin recording pretty conventionally and then a few ideas later I'd find myself in the furnace room playing violin through a baby monitor and singing about the Kursk submarine disaster. Somehow it all seemed exactly normal."
Fans of Griffin's two critically acclaimed solo albums, Tortuga (1999) and Light in the Aisles (2001) will recognize the homespun acoustic/electronic hybrid that he calls "porch techno", and the songwriting that has earned comparisons to Tom Waits, Joe Henry and Vic Chesnutt (with whom he has collaborated). But on Sea, a new complexity is introduced when he and violinist Catherine McRae share vocal duties, often with twinned leads overlapping then disappearing into one another.
Writing and recording in New York City in 2002 and '03 also left a mark in the surreal topicality of the lyrics. Says Griffin, "Light in the Aisles came out at the end of August 2001. I was getting ready to go on tour for it that September. But, like most New Yorkers, I wasn't up for traveling, so I didn't go. I read the newspaper a lot. I didn't write songs for a long time, but when I did, I guess I still had newsprint on my fingers. For a while it seemed like that newsprint would come off with time, and that maybe these songs wouldn't feel so relevant, but lately they feel more current than ever."
'T. Griffin is one of those songwriters that defys easy description. It's not like people haven't tried. He's been compared to Tom Waits, Elliott Smith and Chris Knox. That's some powerful company, but Griffin takes it a step further by using odd sound-making devices to punctuate the songs." - Ames Tribune
'...a disarmingly pretty record that weds T. Griffin's songwriting with a subtle clatter that incorporates both Americana roots music and warm electronic work." - Time Out New York
'what makes his skewed folk so appealing is his ear for uncommon accompaniment - found sounds, noisy loops, bowed marimba, horns, cello and female vocal harmonies. Check out his dynamite new CD, REDBIRDS.' - The Village Voice
'... a mixture of low-fi electronica and rural folkiness that should contradict each other but mesh perfectly into a haunting and soulful, psychedelic, alt-country, techno, gypsy, folk-pop sound... The CD only gets better as it settles into your psyche. The strange electronic noises serve to create a fuzzy static forcefield that encirles the Americana instrumentation and lyricism." - PointBlank Des Moines
'...an inventive bleep-blipping take on Americana, thanks to the help of some ace satelite members, including Dennis Cronin (ex-lambchop) and Bruce Cawdron (godspeed you! black emperor)... An alluring hybrid of sampled beats, found-sound collisions and traditional songwriting.' - Pulse of the Twin Cities