Following the March 11, 2020 release of Rock Record, eclipsed by the COVID-19 pandemic shut-down that Friday, Los Angeles singer songwriter, pianist, and teacher Liz Pappademas returns to Baker and Pine Recordings with a fully improvised instrumental EP.
Aeolian Bedforms is an exploratory, calming, six-song solo project. Composed, performed, and recorded by Pappademas, the song titles reference playgrounds from Pappademas’s childhood in San Francisco, save the final track, written the day Mark Hollis of the band Talk Talk passed away.
The album title speaks to the aerodynamic ripples arising spontaneously out of a two-way interaction between surface and air, and the irregular transfer of material between them. Aeolian Bedforms are dunes, wave-like motions and shapes on Earth or elsewhere.
In Pappademas's own words: "The improvisations on Aeolian Bedforms were created by selecting a keyboard setting (which on the Korg SV1 are all round dials), or sitting at the piano, then thinking of a place, and recording what comes to mind. When one 'song' is finished, turn the dial or re-place your hands at random and see where that sound takes you.
I wrote these songs thinking of the places I used to play, usually alone, when I was a little girl. San Francisco is a small city, so it’s easy for a young person to get around. I did not have to rely on my parents to drive me anywhere. I would listen to my Walkman while hiking through the foggy eucalyptus groves in the Presidio. I'd build forts and have conversations with myself, skateboard to the playgrounds, shoot free throws for hours, inventing imaginary teammates and rivalries. Childhood is a perpetual state of improvisation.
The final track was my attempt to connect with Mark Hollis's memory, his style of playing, and to mourn a great loss without using words. Talk Talk's records continue to influence the way I listen to and write music. This album is a tribute to the music that calms us, that transports us to another time and place, that arises, spontaneously out of the sand and wind. Even though we are constrained by the pandemic, we can still travel in the mind."
Pappademas considered developing the songs on Aeolian Bedforms into more structured pieces with additional instrumentation, but decided to release them to the world as is, with the hope that Rock Record would sustain any listeners seeking a more polished product. For fans suspicious of this new direction, Pappademas's next piano/vocal album, Love Premiere, will be released in 2021.
Released on 11/6/20 (Bandcamp Friday), all proceeds from this EP will be donated to Sunrise Movement, which aims to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process.
“Majestic.” - LA Weekly
“A robust, fully formed Americana-rock album.” - Buzzbands LA
Los Angeles singer songwriter Liz Pappademas returns with Rock Record, her fourth album and her first in almost ten years. Supported by her new band, Bloody Nose -- Aaron Kyle (guitar), Chris Harrison (guitar), Jonathan Price (bass), and Brian Soika (drums), Rock Record is Pappademas’ most personal and accessible offering to date.
Pappademas has honed her layered, cinematic style of writing since graduating from Berklee College of Music, where she won the SESAC award for songwriting, and was 1st runner up in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Her debut with her Austin, Texas band Hurts to Purr, a 2007 solo album, 11 Songs, and 2010's game show song cycle Television City have found footing at SXSW, on TV shows like "One Tree Hill," and on NPR's All Songs Considered. During her ten-year hiatus from performing, Pappademas got a master's and in between writing and recording, teaches cognitive strategy to neurodiverse middle schoolers.
"Rock Record is a Vine Street album." Pappademas says. "I wrote it in a garage just off where Vine ends in the hills above Lake Hollywood. Barefoot Studios, where we recorded, is on Vine near the Surplus Store on Santa Monica Blvd. It was mastered at Capitol, also on Vine. I could see the top of the Capitol Building from my driveway. I never imagined my songs would end up there when we started this album." You will hear on Rock Record an artist in situ -- at home in her space and her style, and ready to share it again with the world.
The famous Crystal Sound comic.
Photo by Peter Baker
iPhone recordings created between February 20th and May 26th, 2013, in the Cal State Northridge practice rooms and at an apartment on Dunsmuir St. in Los Angeles. Released with limited fanfare and no live performances.
Limited-edition copies of the album came with a 27-page booklet detailing the album concept and its inspriations. Click here to view.
“Television City” features The Level, a band put together solely for this project, and members of the Killsonic jazz collective. Pappademas was a member of the accordion section of Killsonic from 2007-2010. The Level was Mike Corwin on guitar, David Alvarado on bass, and Justin Polimeni on drums. Ben Jaffe also played drums with the group for a short time.
“The ambitious album is a cycle of interconnected songs about a fictional game show called Who's Your Neighbor? The concept allows her to explore the inner lives of a fascinating set of characters. Pappademas' forceful piano accents frame the action stylishly on such sly, melodically rich pop gems as ‘Your Favorite Game Show’ and ‘Grand Prize Winners,’ while the album-closing ‘Parting Guest’ is a trippy sound collage of mesmerizing echoes.” - Falling James, LA Weekly
Released in 2007, we recorded vocals, drums and keyboards at Hyde Street Studio C in San Francisco with Scott McDowell engineering. Rob Sanchez from Monahans played drums on those sessions. Back in Austin, we gathered some great freinds and players: pedal steel by Gary Newcomb and bass and by Jeff Johnston were recorded by Lang Freeman at Folsur. A brass kick-plate off an old door was used as a saw, bowed by Jeff, a champion saw player. Accordion, additional vocals, percussion and keyboards (which included a Chamberlin, a Fender Rhodes, a Mellotron, and a 100-year-old Emerson upright), were recorded by Brian Kehew at OFR in Los Angeles. Selected vocals, accordion, and percussion were recorded by Liz Pappademas at her home in San Francisco.
“Stark lushness illuminated.” - Electronic Music Magazine
“Liz Pappademas says she was ‘born in the back seat of a Checker cab in front of Lincoln Center in New York,’ but grew up in San Francisco, where she wrote and recorded her latest CD, 11 Songs. It's a beautifully downbeat collection of piano-driven art-pop tunes reflecting on broken hearts, bitterness and murder.” - NPR