City States ‘Geography’ Song fo the Day 30th May 2014

It’s not all that common for a musician to
release his first full-length record at the age
of 34, but that’s exactly what Joel Ebner is
doing. After nearly six years of false starts,
mutations, and detours as City States, he’s
finally completed his debut LP, Geography.
Maybe it’s the perfectionism that took
him so long. Or the fear of failure. Maybe
he’s a late bloomer. What’s clear is that
Ebner—along with the help of keyboardist
/ producer Steve Lund and drummer Mike
Burmeister—has taken the time to create
a capital-A Album: a meticulously-crafted
record filled with nuance, surprise, and
stylistic range.

Geography—which was mixed by John
McEntire of Tortoise / Sea & Cake—is an
album about change: it’s an album about
the desire to understand the contours of
the world, and knowing how to respond
when landscapes shift unexpectedly;
roughly halfway through the making of the
LP, Ebner’s father died suddenly of a heart
attack, and as a result most of the lyrics deal
with notions of death, grief, and the struggle
to find acceptance when losing someone
close to you. Specifically, “To Remember”
is inspired by the eulogy that Ebner gave
at his father’s memorial service, detailing the
relationship they had via the Fender Jaguar
his dad bought in the early 1960s.
Musically, the album leans heavily on classic
art-rock albums of the last 35 years—with
it’s droning organs, ebowed guitars, and
melodic synth arpeggios, Geography’s
arrangements bring to mind the likes of
Stereolab, Brian Eno’s Another Green World,
and Remain In Light-era Talking Heads.

GEOGRAPHY THE DEBUT ALBUM
BY CITY STATES
AVAILABLE ON MP3 AND
VINYL LP, SPRING 2014

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