Friendship / Wendy Eisenberg
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On stage, bassist Jon Samuels is the only member of Friendship who stands, swaying back and forth as the songs bear down, pulling together and apart. Friendship’s newest release, Dreamin’ (planned for release on November 8), is an exorable wave of motion, endlessly rocking between intimacy and loneliness.
The contemplative alt-country songs on Dreamin’ were recorded to tape in July 2018 with the help of the Low Anthem’s Jeff Prystowsky. The band moved away from the inclusion of digitally programmed drums and Rhodes piano for Dreamin’, opting instead for a warmer, more organic aesthetic and a starker performance. Most of the songs took shape while Dan Wriggins (vocals and guitar) and Mike Cormier (drums) worked and lived as groundskeepers at a private estate in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, frequently driving to Philadelphia for shows. The record is set in the country and the city; community, peacefulness, and isolation can be heard and felt throughout the album.
Wendy Eisenberg is an improvising guitarist, banjo-player, vocalist, and poet. Using the languages of free jazz, new music, metal, and art song, her music challenges the representational and technical demands placed on the guitar and banjo in contemporary music.
Eisenberg’s debut record as an improviser, Its Shape Is Your Touch, was released in October 2018. Her trio, the Machinic Unconscious, with Ches Smith and Trevor Dunn, released its debut album on Tzadik that same month. Both records were included on Billboard’s list of the top 10 jazz albums of the year, and received features and attention from NPR and National Sawdust. Her album of quiet art/pop songs, Time Machine, was remastered and rereleased last year.
In addition to her work as a solo artist, Eisenberg has written for and performed in numerous projects, including the critically acclaimed experimental band Birthing Hips, described by NPR as “brainy, noisy punk based in sonic adventure, technical mastery, and rejection of the status quo.” She leads a rock trio, Editrix, which explores similar parameters.