Tan or Boil: Seamstress in a Suitcase

  • Tan or Boil: Seamstress in a Suitcase
  • Tan or Boil: Seamstress in a Suitcase
  • Tan or Boil: Seamstress in a Suitcase

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CD / Digital
Design by Mark Gowing

Tan or Boil – a pun on the name of bratty short stop from those 1970s Bad News Bears films that stuck – is the alias of the Pittsburgh-born Jason Bacasa. After growing up in Pittsburgh and studying graphic design, Jason took flight from his home town to work freelance in a variety of cities, though his latest and current stint in New York seems more permanent than those in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago. On the songwriting side, Jason’s continual travels kept him to just an acoustic guitar and 4-track recorder as part of his luggage and he would write and record spontaneously, piecing the various fragments into song when settled for longer periods. His songs still hold onto that fragmented, on the fly style with a surreal fervour often running through his lyrics alongside the hushed intimacy that inevitably comes from late-night recording in apartment buildings. A CD-R of six songs which Jason had handed out to around 60 lucky souls witnessing his support slot for Joanna Newsom – he has also played with Cat Power and Devendra Banhart – somehow found its way to Preservation’s Andrew Khedoori. Unaware that show was the only public outing for those songs at that point, Andrew initially sought out more from Jason to play on his Sydney radio show, but then offered up some kind of release for his music. From there, steps were taken into realising Seamstress in a Suitcase. Jason was keen to extend on the bare-bones acoustic style of his songs but had no musical compadres to help out. Andrew then enlisted the unique, multi-instrumental wares of fellow Preservation artist Aaron Martin, with both Aaron and Andrew shaping arrangements with digital files going back and forth across the globe. The songs now have an expansive realm spanning both the baroque and the exotic, and even get beat-happy courtesy of Melbourne-based electronic artist Part Timer. A raw and strange beauty still exists at the core of Seamstress in a Suitcase, though its imaginative kaleidoscopic spin enhances that feeling as well as takes it somewhere else entirely.

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