ADVANCE BASE- Pamela 7" ORD-18
Release date: December 25, 2015
This vinyl-only release features the 'alternate ending' version of the song "Pamela" backed with a Washington Phillips cover & an instrumental arrangement of a traditional hymn.
In addition to being a thematically complete EP, the flipside also functions as "side C" of a previous Advance Base 7", The World Is A Band Fix Everywhere.
- Pamela (3:05) *
- I Had a Good Father & Mother (3:25) **
- What a Friend we Have in Jesus (2:00) **
* A different edit of the song "Pamela" can be found on the Advance Base album Nephew in the Wild. You can listen the album version below.
** CD & digital versions of these two tracks were previously released on Advance Base's 2013 EP The World Is In A Bad Fix Everywhere. They make their vinyl debut here.
Owen Ashworth has never shied away from the sweet pain of nostalgia. His work as Casiotone for the Painfully Alone made the trivial grand, memorializing crying alone in a theatre; a broken pearl necklace; a hazily-recalled new year’s kiss. He’s since married, become a father, and swapped monikers (he’s now Advance Base, the name of both his recording studio and a collection of CFTPA b-sides), but though the lives of his sonic characters reflect his own altered circumstances, bittersweet nostalgia provides a backbeat to his work that’s as steady as his songs’ synthesized drums.
On “Pamela,” the second single from Advance Base’s upcoming album Nephew in the Wild, Ashworth follows his lo-fi indie rock to its roots in blues storytelling . The track, a lullaby, sees Ashworth singing sweetly to a child, perhaps the eponymous Pamela, at waltz tempo. The kid’s father perpetually reeks of marijuana; its mother, “sixteen/and sweeter than saccharine…had the smell of death in her hair.” Mournful, minor-keyed piano (no longer a Casio but instead a vintage Rhodes) provides a soothing, eerie backdrop as Ashworth reveals that the child is “the devil’s kid/the sign of the beast on [its] skin.” It’s a warm, folksy revelation that stands all the more starkly against the cold, rhythmic synthpop, recalling the mournful wails of blues singers sounding against their guitars’ twelve-bar progressions.
The simplicity of the production is, however, deceptive. “Pamela’s” piano and drums are subtly, but deeply textured—Ashworth is now as competent a producer as he is a songwriter, having spent much of the last three years making beats for Chicago rapper Serengeti and writing piano for Sun Kil Moon‘s Benji. As with sonics, so too with lyrics; unlike Casiotone for the Painfully Alone’s lost loves, Advance Base sings of a child with a future. As awful as that future might be, and as much as its parents’ awful lives loom over the track, the story nevertheless marks a shift from Ashworth’s resolute focus on the closed-off past of both his characters and himself. Much like it does during parenthood, on “Pamela” hope harmonizes with and reinforces nostalgia.
The nostalgia’s still there, but an older Ashworth may have overcome his ennui.
7” vinyl packaged in full color fold-over sleeves with original artwork by Todd Freeman
150 copies on clear vinyl, 350 copies on black vinyl
Please note that this record is only available in the 7" vinyl format. No digital version will be released.