Out today, True Opera is a full-length collaboration between producers Moor Mother and Mental Jewelry.
Moor Jewelry’s 2017 EP Crime Waves was a work focused largely on electronic instruments and computer-based composition.
On True Opera, the duo took a different approach -- exploring the visceral, physical punk music that the duo grew up listening to.
The tracks were improvised in the recording studio during two sessions. Mental Jewelry played drums and bass. Moor Mother performed guitar and vocals. Later, they were joined by drummer Philip Price (Kayo Dot).
“We grew up going to punk shows and playing in punk bands,” explains Steve Montenegro (Mental Jewelry). “We missed the energy of playing instruments live together. On a computer everything is accounted for. This has all of the imperfections and flubs -- it’s more of a direct conduit.”
“I think -- at least for me, for people my age -- there was a shift away from punk rock. At a certain point, you started getting into other music,” he says. “Now I’m like, ‘Crass was right about everything’.”
Out June 5th, Electric Park Ballroom is the second full-length and Don Giovanni Records debut by Paisley Fields.
Active since 2013, Fields is a singer, songwriter, and bandleader splitting time between Brooklyn, New York and Nashville, Tennessee. He writes country music. His songs are tender and authentic, but also pretty quick with a joke. They’re mindful of tradition, but deeply informed by his singular background.
Raised in the Midwest, Fields spent his teenage years playing piano at church, detasseling corn, and pulling shifts at Dollar Tree. He ultimately skipped town to become a world traveler, a proficient taiko drummer, and a Manhattan piano bar survivor who has co-written songs for RuPaul’s Drag Race stars (“Purse First” and “Feeling is Mutual”). Fields is a touring member of the pioneering queer country outfit Lavender Country and can also read your tarot.
The stories on Electric Park Ballroom are his, but the feelings they convey -- love, loneliness, lust, and so on -- are, hopefully, still universal.