With Only Chimneys, Imaginary Johnny finally realized their dream of making a record the old fashioned way – hammering it out in the studio. Working with producer Joel Hamilton (Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Sparklehorse), the band created a dark and grand collection of songs. Longtime fans will recognize the distinctive imagistic songwriting, and will discover a warmth and cohesiveness. There is a newfound fullness to Imaginary Johnny’s sound, with brass, strings and a choir of sorts. Only Chimneys is no less personal than the recordings that preceded it, but it is also epic, portraying an America struggling with its place in the world: broad yet territorial, vulnerable yet defiant, modern yet ancient. Only Chimneys pays tributes to its forbearers with an almost folk-like disposition and a near-constant dialog with the past, but never stops asking where we go from here.
released April 8, 2008
Ismail Lawal, drum kit
Adam Sylvia, guitar/bass
Stuart Wolferman, keys/vocals
Guest performances by:
Janice Cruz, vocals (10)
John Davis, double bass (3, 4, 5, 6)
Maura DiBerardinis, violin (3, 6, 7)
Joel Hamilton, noises/miscellany (1-10)
Alex Johnston, banjo (4, 5)
Danielle Kuhlmann, French horn (2, 6, 10)
Scott Teske, double bass (3, 6, 7, 8)
“Choir” on track 5: Minna Choi, Marc Alan Goodman, Megan Reilly, Adam Sylvia
Produced by Joel Hamilton. All songs by Stuart Wolferman. String arrangements by Minna Choi. Tracked in Brooklyn at The Bunker and Studio G. Mixed at Studio G by Joel Hamilton. Assistant Engineer: Marc Alan Goodman. Mastered by Chad Clark at Silver Sonya in Arlington, VA. Artwork by Natalia Kutsepova. Published by Unfinished Side Productions.
Special thanks to Zoë Knight; Joel Hamilton; all the musicians; Eric Morse; Paul Hutzler; Zach Barocas; Natalia Kutsepova; all our families and especially: Ethan, Mom, Dad, and Ga Ga; the old friends who know who they are.
“At Your Leisure” feels less like a definitive statement than a question in process of being asked, one with an answer worth pursuing just as it says on the cover. Bandcamp Album of the Day Jul 27, 2018