Old Soul Studios

646.248.2008 | Catskill, NY

The Sideshow Tragedy

Number One Number One The Sideshow Tragedy "Number One"
The Winning Side The Winning Side The Sideshow Tragedy "The Winning Side"
Let The Love Go Down Let The Love Go Down The Sideshow Tragedy "Let The Love Go Down"

The indie blues-roots-rock duo The Sideshow Tragedy released their fifth album Capital on May 5, 2015, produced by the Independent Music Award-winner Kenny Siegal at Old Soul Studios, in Catskill, NY.

Frontman Nathan Singleton says, “It was as close to an ideal working environment as we’ve ever been in–the studio is in this great house from the 1800’s. We slept in the bedrooms upstairs, and we’d wake up, make some coffee and just start tracking. We recorded it in 5 days. Getting to work with Kenny was a huge honor; we’d been fans of Johnny Society for years, and some of the records he’s produced (Chris Whitley’s Reiter In and Langhorne Slim’s The Way We Move in particular) are personal favorites of ours. We wanted to capture some of those sounds, and instead of trying to approximate it at another studio with a different producer, we thought, “Why not ask Kenny to produce, and use the same studio and gear where all those great records were made?”

Siegal echoes the same kind of enthusiasm about their collaboration: “These guys are a rockin’ bad ass 2 piece band from hell. Nathan’s a great singer and a thoughtful songwriter that’s got a lot of heart and a healthy dose of punk attitude. And Jeremy plays the drums as if he has been locked in a freakin’ cave all of his life! This record is the heaviest stuff to come out of Old Soul in a while. I was psyched to be involved.”

Singleton didn’t play nearly as much guitar on this record as he has on past albums. The duo and their producer aimed to keep the sound skeletal and sparse, and just put the focus on the groove and the songs. “I would call them humanistic songs,” Singleton says. “It’s not a concept record, but most of the tunes are thematically tied together. Generally I am drawn to ambiguities in lyrics. That’s what makes songwriting so compelling to me. Stuff that goes beyond literal, political, or philosophical statements and tries to get at something deeper and human.”

The fierce musicianship and evocative lyrics on Capital confront issues such as poverty and war crimes while making a “case for apathy/but no one seems to care/Deaf to the cries/When the invisible enemy dies/”. But as Singleton explained to PopMatters, the themes go “beyond partisan politics or culture wars… I just feel that our culture often tends to value ‘winning’, as if we’re all in a big competition, and we focus on protecting ourselves from each other instead of helping each other. We buy weapons and huge tank-like automobiles to feel ‘safe’ and ‘tough’, but that seems illusory to me because I don’t think anyone is secure when such a large portion of people are broke, disenfranchised and desperate.”

Visit the official website

Buy the CD ‘Capital’ here

Listen to The Sideshow Tragedy on Soundcloud