premiered on NPR’s All Songs Considered, Bandcamp & BlackBookMag
to be released June 25th
“Bloodstream” named one of the Top 10 Catchiest Indie Songs of 2013 by Pigeons and Planes
“I’ve always used to write music except that everything I’d written in the past was done alone on guitar,” notes Leah Seigel of Firehorse during the creative process for her sophomore release, Pills From Strangers. “For this record, I wanted to be inspired by different sounds to create melodies and ideas, not the other way around.”
Pills From Strangers is the follow-up to the critically acclaimed, And so they ran faster…. The Firehorse debut garnered immense praise from the LA Times, NPR Music, Paste, Time Magazine, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, Spinner, Time Out New York, Boston Phoenix and many more. Lead single “Our Hearts” was featured by Teen Vogue, RCRD LBL, WXPN and countless other outlets while the video (a coproduction and conception with the prestigious arts collective The Windmill Factory) was featured by Paste Magazine, My Old Kentucky Blog & Spinner.
Stand out track “If You Don’t Want To Be Alone” was nominated for ‘Best Music at Cannes’ for inclusion in the Grand Prize Winning PSA for the Topsy Foundation, which won multiple prestigious awards at CLIO, the LIAs, and was featured in ’10 Ads worth Spreading’ by TED.
After the release of precious and complex And so they ran faster…, Siegel decided on a new approach for Pills. Where Faster… was dense, calculating, and took years to write, Pills would be more simple and carefree, and be written primarily in studio.
“It was a big fear to face after being such a premeditated writer; to trust myself to shoot from the hip and still create something that I love,” explains Siegel. “But I was dedicated to simplicity…in my own way of course.”
Long time fans will hear the continued depth and emotion that first drew them to Siegel, while discovering a new accessibility. The enigmatic Firehorse offers up another truly eclectic record.
Lead track “Bloodstream,” the quirky speed-popper “Good,” and mid-tempo, electro-lull “Wave” were all developed in studio alongside longtime producer Geoff Stanfield (Sun Kil Moon, Moby, Mieka Pauley).
“Geoff is an incredibly talented producer and we work well together,” explains Leah. “He lets me be myself, experiment and flail and I trust his ears and sensibility. It was clear that we should work together again.”
The stark acoustic based “Walls” and the surprising, soul inspired “Fool” were the only two songs that were complete before going into production. Dark and beat driven “Scarecrow” was half written and the luscious “Any Other Day” was developed as a live performance for The Windmill Factory’s installation at the MIT new Media Lab, before being extended in the studio to a full-length song.
Also returning on the album are longtime Firehorse cohorts Brian Wolfe (David Byrne/St. Vincent, Sufjan Stevens) on drums, guitarist Steve Elliott (Shooter Jennings), bassist Tim Luntzel (Rosanne Cash) and keyboardist/programmer Mendeley Wells.
Pills From Strangers features textures and sounds that build upon the foundation laid by the debut. Siegel has now incorporated samples and key controllers into the Firehorse repertoire. Even with new elements involved, Pills From Strangers has some of the most accessible Firehorse songs yet.