Red Alder – ‘Empty Staircases’ LP
Washington’s Red Alder (Kelsie Brown) has been quietly releasing sparse dream-inducing melancholy laced tunes for the last year or so, but has hit the mark with her newest (and perhaps last) release, Empty Staircases. The dark and somber tones in this set are brilliantly haunting, but also soothing. Similar to how a dark, grey, rainy day can bring your overall mood down, but also calm your spirit at the same time. Most music similar to hers seems to pass by my ears without impact, but Brown’s heart and soul shows through these pieces and draws me in. Kelsie eleaborated a bit on this release and it possibly being the last under the Red Alder moniker:
i decided to end red alder because i can’t really see any other place for it to go. i started red alder in winter of 2010/2011 and the entire time i had this idea in mind of what i *really* wanted it to sound and feel like. i put out two eps in 2011 (‘infinity’, which is no longer online, and ‘dissociation’), and i was proud of them but it wasn’t really the ultimate goal. ‘empty staircases’ is essentially the album i was trying to create the whole time—just bringing forth all of my melancholy and anxiety to make something beautiful. now that it’s out there i have to reason to continue making new music.
as for what’s in store for the future, i’m not sure. i suppose i’ll still continue to make music and it will probably have things in common with red alder; like, i don’t think i’m even capable of making music that doesn’t express anxiety. but it won’t sound the same, and so i’ll probably have a new project at some point. i don’t think that will be for a while though because i haven’t written a song since the tracks on ‘empty staircases’.
it’s also possible that i will turn red alder into a live venture, just playing the older songs i’ve already put out. i don’t have funds for gear right now but i think eventually i would love to play live.
Download Empty Staircases via Bandcamp (pay-what-you-want) and stream it below: