Leelanau now available on Antenna Farm Records here... www.antennafarmrecords.com/releases/ant541/
Leelanau is an ode to rural Michigan with references to stories both real and imagined, a travelogue of both places on the map and of complex emotions stirred by memory. Themes of regret and estrangement are balanced by expressions of youthful joy and discovery, with many songs using real locales as starting points and interweaving the human experience with the world surrounding it. These forgotten memories leave tangible traces for us to rediscover as our lives go on, a concept summed up in the title track, a fable of a woman long lost in the woods, with her family finding traces of her journey for years to come. Copperleaf tells the story of two people who were very close friends as kids, reunited after years of divergent paths, with their love remaining but much more complex and daunting. Elsewhere, the song Sleeping Bear (based on a Native American legend of the same name) captures the despair of a mother bear who after escaping a fire by swimming across Lake Michigan, waits in vain for her two cubs who drowned on the way. In Pictured Rocks, a red fox laments that he's “only brought you grief”, while a Crooked River finds redemption and relief in losing itself and flowing into the sea.
For the recording of Leelanau, Falconberry and her newly formed band sequestered themselves in a gospel church-turned-recording studio in east Austin, essentially moving in. “We would start working in the morning, get through the list of things we needed to record for the day, and play with ideas until the wee hours. There was a ton of creative energy flying around," Falconberry says. To say that the songs were rooted in places and visuals is no overstatement; Dana made prints of scenes for her bandmembers to study while recording their parts, like visual aids. Leelanau was recorded by Grant Johnson, mixed by Danny Reisch (of Shearwater), and produced by Johnson, Cox, and Falconberry. The same session also produced Leelanau’s acclaimed four-song prelude EP Though I Didn't Call It Came, released on Sacramento’s Crossbill Records in January 2012.