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MP3 The Snow - True Dirt

Dark and smoky folk-rock.

10 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Political, POP: Chamber Pop

True to its namesake, The Snow is a constantly changing form. It covers up what is ugly and painful and – at least temporarily – makes everything beautiful. The Snow began with Pierre de Gaillande and Hilary Downes when their relationship of many years was transformed into one of pure musical collaboration. Born in Paris, France and raised in California, Pierre started his New York musical adventure in power punk band the Morning Glories in the early 90s and went on to play with Melomane, Vic Chesnutt, and many others. At one point, Pierre began to supplement his income writing and recording made-to-order songs as wedding gifts. Ironically, these wedding songs became the first joint project of Pierre and Hilary. After years of working with Pierre in his studio, singing backup vocals on his bands’ recordings and the very occasional public performance, Pierre coaxed Hilary onstage for a musical tour of Russia and Eastern Europe in the summer of 2006, during which Hilary learned to sing and play keyboard simultaneously. The Snow was born!

The darkness and sweetness of their songs mirrored the same qualities in their relationship, as they navigated their way toward a new and abiding connection in music. David Spinley, a classically trained clarinetist and saxophone player, joined the group as a key writer and arranger. Having played in punk rock, jazz, country and pop bands in New York City for more than ten years, Spinley was well-seasoned to deal with the domestic unrest which became the subject of many of the songs on their first full-length cd, “True Dirt.” Also an exploration of spirituality from a non-religious perspective, the unraveling of Downes’ and de Gaillande’s relationship seemed to mesh with the spiritual seeking in many of the album’s songs. Jazz bassist Chris Gustafson added his chops to the mix.

Backed by a deft rhythm section, featuring Jeffrey Schaeffer on drums and Justin Hosek (who replaced Gustafson after the recording) on upright bass, The Snow has a serious backbone. Their influences are perhaps as diverse as their sound – having been described as distinctly as a post-apocalyptic French cabaret and Americana heard at a possessed carnival. The overall mood is of a sweet serenade taking occasional turns into a hall of mirrors, and they have been likened to Fleetwood Mac sitting around the pool trading songs with M. Ward, Cat Power, and Iron and Wine. Hear for yourself...

The band''s first album was recorded and mixed at Trout Studios by acclaimed producer Bryce Goggin (Pavement, Apples in Stereo, Sean Lennon, Evan Dando, Sebadoh) and was released on Vermillion Music in February 2008.

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