North America is a collection of songs written on the road. Solitary and pastoral, it reconciles the brash melodicism of Aaron Copland and Sonny Sharrock with the ornate storytelling of Joni Mitchell and Cass McCombs. These are songs of deceit, folly, addiction, wanderlust, and persistent yearning, but there is a defiant optimism in their melodies.
Recorded between February and August of 2016 at Figure 8 Studios in Brooklyn, North America features NYC luminaries such as Joan Wasser (Joan as Policewoman), Shahzad Ismaily (Sam Amidon, Bonnie Prince Billy, Tom Waits), Benjamin Lazar Davis (Cuddle Magic, Okkervil River), Alec Spiegelman (Woods, White Hinterland), and frequent collaborator Jeremy Gustin (Star Rover, Marc Ribot, Albert Hammond Jr.). Sam Evian (Celestial Shore) engineered and mixed, capturing the songs in dark, earthy tones.
Will Graefe has spent the last decade touring relentlessly as a guitarist for Okkervil River, Larkin Grimm, Petra Haden, Landlady, and many others. This is his first official solo album and the first record to feature his voice. North America is out June 23rd on Pretty Purgatory.
released June 23, 2017
Will Graefe - vocals, guitars, electric bass, Juno, percussion
Benjamin Lazar Davis
All songs written and produced by Will Graefe (GravyMusic, ASCAP)
Tip of the hat to Margaret Glaspy for lyric help on "Boys”
Tracks 1-4, 6, 7, 9, recorded and mixed by Sam Griffin Owens at Figure 8 Recording
Track 5 recorded by Ian Davis
Track 8 recorded and mixed by Robin Macmillan
Additional recording by Sam Griffin Owens at Flying Cloud
Mastered by Kevin Blackler at Blackler Mastering
Design by Katie Von Schliecher
Digital Design by Julia Lee