Craig Wedren, Jefferson Friedman & ACME Announce New Album

New Amsterdam Records has announced the long-awaited collaborative effort from Craig Wedren, Jefferson Friedman and ACME called On In Love, which will be released on May 27, 2014. They premiered “Tarrying” via A.V. Club, who said “Delicate and dynamic, [“Tarrying”] is justly theatrical.” The track is now available after the jump, and the entire album is available for preorder.

For On In Love, Wedren handled the lyrical content while Friedman composed all of the music. The songs were produced by Wedren and Friedman at Studio G, Brooklyn. On In Love stands on its own with its unique, otherworldly perspective on melody, rhythm and genre, but the emotions evoked during a listen are all too familiar. At once knotty and catchy, inventive and intuitive, these songs are built for engaged listening.

“On In Love is pop music from an as-yet-undiscovered planet and/or tells an alternate history from the moment violins went one way and guitars the other,” the artists said about the project. “It’s about the state of being in love, with “love” as a placeholder for god, pride, family, addiction, war, sex, death and pain.”

“Working with Jefferson on On In Love was the creative equivalent of the coolest babysitter giving you free reign to all the secret rooms in your house that your parents forbid you to use,” Wedren said about his experience. “Total permission, with a healthy dose of fear and dizzying exhilaration. Which is the way we both like it.”

About his introduction to his songwriting partner, Friedman said, “Craig and I first met in 1998 when Shudder To Think was looking for a keyboardist/backup vocalist for what turned out sadly to be their final tour. Getting to play with my favorite band was a dream come true for my 24-year-old self, and finding a kindred spirit in Craig was even better.”

Craig Wedren is the critically acclaimed songwriter and singer who began his career fronting avant-rock pioneers Shudder To Think. Blessed with a voice of unsurpassed beauty, and with incredible versatility as a writer and arranger, Wedren has made a name for himself in both the traditional world of rock and as a sought after film composer. Most recently Craig has worked as the composer for the new David Wain film They Came Together, which premiered at Sundance 2014, and the film Lucky Them, directed by Megan Griffiths. Both films will be released this summer. Craig continues to release ground breaking original music as well, including his solo album Wand.

To accompany the release of Wand, Craig toured the United States with Chris Cornell, and he worked with director Tim Nackashi to create a series of 360-degree interactive videos — now being developed for use with Oculus Rift technology — whose engrossing, innovative technology continues Craig’s forays into the vanguard of music and imagination.

As a composer, Wedren has scored a host of popular feature films including Wanderlust, Role Models, School of Rock, Wet Hot American Summer, By The People: The Election of Barack Obama, Laurel Canyon, Reno 911!: Miami, Roger Dodger, The Baxter, Boxers and Ballerinas, and Afternoon Delight, which was the winner of the Directing award for a US Drama at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Wedren has also written and performed music for many popular televisions shows including Hung, United States of Tara, Reno 911!, Don’t Trust The B. In Apt. 23, Children’s Hospital, Stella, The State, The Whitest Kids You Know.

Wedren began his career as the singer and primary songwriter for Washington, DC-based Shudder To Think, a band that started out in the “hardcore” music scene only to challenge the aesthetics and limitations of this then-emerging musical genre. After breaking indie music tradition by signing with Epic Records (Sony Music), Shudder To Think released three major label albums including their opus, Pony Express Record. With Shudder To Think, Wedren scored the independent films First Love Last Rites and High Art, and contributed music to the film Velvet Goldmine. Shortly after making the transition to film work, the band dissolved their partnership, and Wedren continued his dual career as both film composer and solo artist.

American composer Jefferson Friedman was born in 1974 in Swampscott, Massachusetts. His music has been called “impossible to resist” by The New York Times, and Sequenza 21 reports, “[Mr. Friedman] goes a lot further toward sustaining interest and tension than composers twice his age (and with Pulitzer Prizes).” His work has been performed throughout the United States and abroad, most notably at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and Avery Fisher Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, the Bowery Ballroom, (Le) Poisson Rouge, and the American Academy in Rome. His piece, String Quartet No. 3, was nominated for a Grammy for “Best Contemporary Classical Composition of the Year,” recorded as part of the Chiara String Quartet’s 2011 New Amsterdam Records album.

Mr. Friedman has been commissioned three times by Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony Orchestra; his works March, The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly, and Sacred Heart: Explosion were all written for the NSO. March is a brief closing piece, commissioned by the orchestra as part of the Hechinger Encores series. The Throne and Sacred Heart are the second and third sections of a planned orchestral trilogy entitled In the Realms of the Unreal, each movement of which is based on the life and work of a different American “outsider” or “visionary” artist.

The American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) is dedicated to the outstanding performance of masterworks from the 20th and 21st centuries, primarily the work of American composers. The ensemble presents cutting-edge music by living composers alongside the classics of the contemporary. ACME’s dedication to new music extends across genres, and has earned them a reputation among both classical and rock crowds. NPR calls them “contemporary music dynamos,” and The New York Times describes ACME’s performances as “vital,” “brilliant,” and “electrifying.” Time Out New York reports, “[Artistic Director Clarice] Jensen has earned a sterling reputation for her fresh, inclusive mix of minimalists, maximalists, eclectics and newcomers.” On In Love was commissioned by ACME with generous support from The Greenwall Foundation and Miller Theatre at Columbia University.

Corinne

In a previous life, Corinne ran a music website. After going strong for a decade, the site went on a hiatus. Consider her the antiTastemaker.