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Aarktica, Pale Horse & Rider to Release New LPs

Catherine Lewis reports:
Brooklyn, NY's melancholy dream-pop king Jon DeRosa has recorded another Aarktica album, Pure Tone Audiometry, due out on February 11th via Silber Records. It's the follow-up to last year's brilliant ...Or You Could Just Go Through Your Whole Life and Be Happy Anyway, the #18 release in Darla's Bliss-Out series.

Pure Tone Audiometry, whose title refers to a behavioral test measure to determine hearing sensitivity that DeRosa underwent after he lost the hearing in one ear, balances moments of upbeat indie-rock against Aarktica's trademark ambient drones. It was co-produced by Charles Newman of Flare and features numerous guest musicians: Andrew Prinz (cello) and Lorraine Lelis (vocals) of Mahogany, Hadley Kahn (drums) of New York City's space-rock ensemble Escapade, Ernie Adzentovich (upright bass) of Plexus, and Newman on harmonium.

Aarktica will hold a record release show on February 9th at the Mercury Lounge in NYC with Healamonster & Tarsier and The Mobius Band, and plans to play other shows throughout the year. Tracklist:

01 Out to Sea
02 The Mimicry All Women Use
03 Snowstorm Ruins Birthday
04 Ocean
05 Big Year
06 Water Wakes Dead Cells
07 Williamsburg Counterpoint

Before there was Aarktica, though, DeRosa had a project called the Dead Leaves Rising, whose first album, 1997's Shadow Complex, achieved something of a cult status in the goth scene and landed DeRosa a number of opening gigs for Projekt bands. Five years and another album later, DeRosa shelved the project and opened the books on a new effort: the country-folk Pale Horse and Rider, whose debut full-length These Are the New Good Times will be released on Darla on February 11th.

Pale Horse and Rider's sound is based on DeRosa's finger-picked acoustic guitar work and storytelling lyrics. The album was recorded this summer by Low's Alan Sparhawk at the Sacred Heart Church in Duluth, Minnesota, and features guest spots by Sparhawk, Nathan Amundson (of Rivulets, whose song "Past Life" DeRosa covers here, and whose forthcoming album DeRosa returns the favor on), Marc Gartman, and Charles Newman. Tracklist:

01 Jersey Coast Line
02 I Told Jesus Christ How Much I Love Her
03 Will We Be Blessed Someday
04 Sunday Matinee
05 Stars
06 Past Life
07 Aura Lee
08 Coney Island
09 Metropolitan Love Song
10 I Came Here Every Night
11 The Prettiest Girl I've Seen Tonight (So Far)

Pale Horse and Rider's version of "There is an Ocean" appeared on Darla's recent Donovan tribute, alongside bands like My Morning Jacket and Lenola. Some of DeRosa's music (both Dead Leaves Rising and Pale Horse and Rider) is scheduled to be featured on the MTV cartoon Clone High, and he's planning a number of Pale Horse and Rider shows for this winter and spring, both here and in Europe. Confirmed dates so far:

01-30 Asbury Park, NJ - The Saint
03-05 New York, NY - Knitting Factory (with Mahogany)
03-12 Austin, TX - SXSW Darla Records showcase

.: Pitchfork Review: Aarktica: ...Or You Could Just Go Through Your Whole Life and Be Happy Anyway
.: Pitchfork News: My Morning Jacket, Lenola Tip Hat to Donovan
.: Aarktica:
.: Pale Horse and Rider:
.: Originally published: 27 January 2003
.: Items mentioned above on ...Or You Could Just Go Through Your Whole Life and Be Happy Anyway (Aarktica, 2002); Pure Tone Audiometry (Aarktica, 2003); These Are the New Good Times (Pale Horse and Rider, 2003).