The End of the Year is a body of songs that took years to come together. The songs were written over a relatively long period of time, and were recorded at different times throughout that period. This, one would think, would impart an incohesive quality on the album and its flow. However, this is not the case. The songs all seem to share a common thread of some sort. This thread keeps them tightly bound together, almost like a family, as an inseparable unit.
The album grew slowly out of a mixture of events, mainly the formation of a new friendship between two musicians living in the middle of nowhere, otherwise known as the Killington area of Vermont. As a recording project, it was a first for Tim Haufe, in that it became a closely shared effort with musician and producer, Julian DeFelice. Whereas all previous Tim Haufe albums had been engineered solely by Tim, this new and crucial partnership would form for the making of The End of the Year. The two artists would work together as a unit, much like the songs on the album, both filling very different yet necessary roles as creative forces. Tim conceived the music and its message, and Julian created the music's unique delivery and presentation.
The End of the Year sessions comprised of many long nights, odd schedules, and unusual circumstances. For example, many of the songs were recorded in Tim's bedroom on the first floor of the lively duplex he was living in, while above on the second floor, a party was often in full swing. To get to the drumset, one would have to first climb over the bed. The household dog had developed a keen sense of the comings and goings of people through the front door, which was directly across the hall from the bedroom, and would bark frequently as a result, often interrupting recording takes. Without a grandiose budget, the two creators of The End of the Year worked as best as they could with the tools that they had, and worked around the obstacles presented to them with grace.
The resulting musical work is a beautiful, open, raw, and honest album that strives to strip away at the surface of things, in both its message and musical arrangements. The album is a journey through not just a year, or two, or three year's worth of time. Rather, it is a journey through an experience punctuated by an unavoidable deadline. That deadline is governed by the unfailing and unquestionable force of time. The songs question the makeup of that experience, and they worship the sentimentality and meanings associated with the passing of that experience.
The End of the Year is truly a joy to listen to. It cover many styles, moods, and emotions. There is a strong jazz element, but not a cute one. An edge, and a new sense of rawness is in the music. Tim Haufe goes deeper into darker places for this album. The vulnerable character that was discussed as being a presence in Downstairs (2008) is still present in The End of the Year. You'll just have to hear it for yourself.
Senior Editor for the Shankar Times,
Produced by Tim Haufe and Julian DeFelice All songs written and arranged by Tim Haufe
Tim Haufe: Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Piano, Organ, Mandolin, Drums, Percussion
Julian DeFelice: Piano/Keyboards on My New Apartment/Our Swim/Ghosts and Secrets/I Did Remain; Organ on Hot Tub Party; Percussion on Over My Body(And Down Into My Core)
Engineered, Mixed, and Mastered by Julian DeFelice
This album was recorded from June 2010 to June 2011 in Vermont. The first sessions took place at Latzky's house in Mendon in June when Hot Tub Party, Our Swim, Floating On the Breeze, and Last Leaf Blues were recorded. 'Till the End of the Year was recorded at Julian's apartment in Rutland sometime that following fall, and the remaining tunes were recorded at Tim's apartment (Brown Town) in Killington throughout that winter. I Did Remain and Stand Up and Say It were recorded late that following June.
Photography and concept by Jaklyn Van Manen
Design by Tim Haufe
Tim would very much like to thank:
Julian DeFelice for his incredible and generous amount of hard work, creativity, and care; Dan Armstrong for constantly lending his bass; Colin Kelly, Marc Latzky, and Chazz Canney for lending their equipment; Chris Bell for putting up with the noise despite his sleep-deprived work schedule; Tom Harris for lending his bass; Jaklyn Van Manen for taking lots of pictures; Tim's family for, well, being great; and all of these people for their support.