I CAN SPIN A RAINBOW is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for Amanda Palmer, an avowed fan of Edward Ka-Spel and the Legendary Pink Dots since discovering their psycho-theatrical, multi-textural work in her teens. As noted in her best-selling 2014 memoir, The Art of Asking, the LPD have long been an inspiration to Palmer, their deeply connected relationship with fans as important to her life and work as their fearless autonomy and impossible-to-pigeonhole musical approach.
The two musicians first met in 1992 when Palmer, then 16, attended a Legendary Pink Dots show in her hometown of Boston. In 1995, having found that the Pink Dots were looking for lodging with fans to save money on the road, Palmer hosted five members of the band and crew at her childhood home. Ten years later, Palmer's internationally acclaimed punk cabaret duo, The Dresden Dolls, had achieved enough success that they were able to invite the Dots to support them on a German tour, and it was then that Palmer and Ka-Spel vowed to carve out time to collaborate on an original recording. A decade passed and in July 2015 a very pregnant Palmer flew to London to start the long-discussed project but was informed on the first day of recording that her dear friend Anthony was losing his battle with cancer and had been given less than a week to live. Heartbroken, she assured Ka-Spel she would be back within the year. Indeed Palmer made good on her promise, returning in the spring of 2016 with her eight-month-old son, Anthony, in tow.
Palmer and Ka-Spel's search for a London recording studio was interrupted by an incredibly generous offer from Palmer's friend Imogen Heap, who suggested they make use of her Essex home recording studio, The Hideaway, conveniently located near Ka-Spel's own home in Hornchurch. With Palmer traveling between London, Hornchurch, and Heap's home studio, the pair spent just under a month composing and cutting an album entirely from scratch.
Recorded largely on Ka-Spel's computer, I CAN SPIN A RAINBOW is a truly collaborative effort, ''a spiritual experience,'' says Palmer, in which both artists' stories, song fragments, poems, and lyrics became wholly meshed with loops, melancholy piano playing, melodic beds, and strange rhythms. The results range from the enchantingly minimal ''The Clock at the Back of the Cage'' and the album-opening ''Pulp Fiction,'' mysterious and strange with a luxurious theatricality that conjures both of its creators' prior oeuvres while also opening a curtain into a heretofore unheard shared sonic world. Sensing the need for strings, the pair enlisted frequent LPD collaborator Patrick Q Wright, who contributed violin tracks from his studio in Italy. Alexis Michallek, Heap's longtime studio assistant, contributes singing saw to ''Beyond The Beach.''
''We merged our songwriting heads and poetic worlds to make a new universe,'' Palmer says. ''We would sit in Imogen's house drinking cups of tea, bemoaning the state of the upcoming election, binge drinking in the UK, the refugee crisis, our internet addictions, frightening news we had read, our relationshipsÉ and then we'd compost all of the ingredients of our fears and conversations into song form. The Rainbow metaphor - which is also a nod to the 'spinning beach ball of death' on a Mac - was a wide-open image that kept popping up as a recurring theme on the record. It's both dark and light at the same time. To me, the songs are simultaneously frightening and comforting, like a thunderstorm heard from a living room.''
''Making this record with Amanda felt a little like discovering a twin you didn't know you had,'' says Ka-Spel, ''until a mysterious email lands in your inbox at a particularly auspicious moment. Some things are just meant to beÉ''
1. Pulp Fiction
2. Shahla's Missing Page
3. The Shock of Kontakt
4. Beyond The Beach
5. The Clock at the Back of the Cage
6. The Changing Room
7. The Jack of Hands
8. Prithee: Liquidation Day
9. Rainbow's End
10. The Sun Still Shines *
11. Subway *
* VINYL ONLY BONUS TRACKS
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