Outlaster

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Outlaster
Outlaster.jpg
Studio album by Nina Nastasia
Released June 7, 2010
(see release dates below)
Recorded March 9–12, 2009
Genre Alternative
Length 39:43
Label Fat Cat Records
Producer Steve Albini
Nina Nastasia chronology
You Follow Me
(2007)'You Follow Me'2007
Outlaster
(2010)
Singles from Outlaster
  1. "Cry, Cry, Baby"
    Released: May 18, 2010
  2. "You Can Take Your Time"
    Released: December 6, 2010

Outlaster is the fifth studio album recorded by American singer-songwriter Nina Nastasia. It was released on June 7, 2010 internationally and June 22, 2010 in the United States by Fat Cat Records (see 2010 in music).

The album was once again recorded by long-time collaborator Steve Albini at Electrical Audio Studios in Chicago. Los Angeles-based arranger Paul Bryan conducted score for a small orchestra, while Nina and Kennan Gudjonsson assembled string and woodwind quartets. Jay Bellerose, who appeared on previous albums The Blackened Air and On Leaving, makes his returns on drums while Tortoise member Jeff Parker performs guitar.

A single, "Cry, Cry Baby," was released in advance of the record on May 10 internationally and May 18 in the U.S. and Canada. "You Can Take Your Time" was released as the second single from the album on December 6, 2010.

Recording and background[edit]

Recording sessions for the album took place over the course of four days at Electrical Audio Studios in Chicago from March 9–12, 2009. The album was tracked by the full band during the first three days, with conductor Paul Bryan admitting that "[...] things got off to an alarmingly slow start, but we eventually fell into a groove; I would rehearse the strings while Nina, Jay and Jeff would fool around with ideas. Once I felt we were ready to track, I would grab a bass and hope that we could pull off something usable while the tape was still rolling." Piano, woodwind and horn sections were overdubbed at the beginning of the fourth day of recording, with Steve Albini completing the mixing of the record by the end of that same night.[1]

Nina Nastasia's long-time companion Kennan Gudjonsson has been confirmed as being a "de facto" producer for the record. On his short recording log of the sessions, conductor Paul Bryan stated that Kennan is "a musician missing an instrument; he has ultra-musical instincts and was a great set of ears in the control room. It was an intense four days and really fun."[1]

Although no studio version of album opener and lead single "Cry, Cry, Baby" is known to have been recorded prior to its inclusion on Outlaster, the track had been performed live numerous times since the Run To Ruin-era, most notably as part of her third Peel Session in December 2002[2] under the title "Cry Baby."[3] The track was performed alongside "Party Favour," which would later be re-titled "Your Red Nose"[4] and released as the b-side to the non-album single What She Doesn't Know in 2008.

Release and promotion[edit]

The release of the album in Europe was promoted by a ten-date tour of the United Kingdom beginning May 22, 2010.[5] These shows were said to be in advance of a more intensive touring programme set to be announced for the early Autumn.[6] While performing in Manchester on May 25, Nastasia, accompanied by touring violinist Matt Szemela, recorded an acoustic session for BBC6 Music's Marc Riley program, performing three tracks — "Wakes," "Outlaster" and "This Familiar Way" — from the album, as well as conducting a brief interview.[7]

On May 4, 2010, Clash Music launched an exclusive competition in which the winner would receive a screen-print of the album artwork, a tote bag and a "luxerious" vinyl copy of the album.[8] On the same date, album track "What's Out There" was officially premiered on Stereogum's website, who described the track as being "dramatic [and] ambitious... the piece is gleefully exploding at the seems."[9] A limited run of 250 screen-prints and tote bags were later sold at Nastasia's official web-store.[10]

The album was made available for pre-order at iTunes on May 19. Notably, the pre-order listed an 11th track that, up until that point, had not been advertised or mentioned in any press release or article. The delicate acoustic track has the unusual title of "I'monamotherfuckingboat" (sic).[11]

On September 28, an acoustic session recorded for Rockfeedback was released on their website. The four tracks — "Outlaster," "Cry, Cry, Baby," "What's Out There" and "I Go With Him" — were once again performed with Matt Szemela and were accompanied by an interview.[12] The second leg of the Outlaster tour was announced via the Nastasia mailing list. Running from October 1 until November 26, Nastasia once again performed throughout Europe with Szemela accompanying on violin.[13] The third leg of the tour — and the first to feature a full band[14] — was due to begin in Cardiff on November 29, 2010. However, this twelve-date U.K. and Ireland tour was cancelled, citing unspecified "health concerns." Three of these dates were later rescheduled for spring 2012.[15]

Critical reception[edit]

Initial critical response to Outlaster was generally positive. At Any Decent Music, which assigns a normalized rating out of 10 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has received an average score of 7.0, based on 14 reviews.[16]

Singles[edit]

"Cry, Cry, Baby"[edit]

Outlaster was supported by the release of two singles, the first album tracks of Nastasia's career to be selected for release as stand-alone singles. The first single, "Cry, Cry, Baby", was released solely as a digital download on May 10, 2010 internationally and later on May 18 in the United States and Canada.[6] It was backed by the previously unreleased "Our Gang" as its b-side. An intimate demo recorded at the beginning of March 2010 by Nastasia in her own bathroom, "Our Gang" is expected to be remade in the future with a "broader arrangement."[6] Prior to the album's release, "Cry, Cry, Baby" was added to Nastasia's MySpace profile,[17] while a music video for the track — her only music video to date — was released on April 13, 2010 as an exclusive stream on Pitchfork.tv. Directed by photographer Theo Stanley, the video consists of one single, unedited panoramic shot of the song being performed live in Nastasia's Chelsea, Manhattan apartment on March 15, 2010.[18]

"You Can Take Your Time"[edit]

The album's second single was first released on August 10, 2009, when it appeared on the 2009 edition of Fat Cat Records' annual sampler. This compilation was initially released in a limited capacity as a promotional CD, while a more public release followed when it was later made available as a free download to anyone who signed up to the Fat Cat Records mailing list.[19][20] Prior to this, the track was frequently performed live during Nastasia's European tour of 2008.[21] "You Can Take Your Time" was released as the second single from the album on December 6, 2010, and was backed by another exclusive b-side, "One Turned In."[22]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Nina Nastasia.

No. Title Length
1. "Cry, Cry, Baby" 3:43
2. "Moves Away" 1:50
3. "You're A Holy Man" 3:33
4. "You Can Take Your Time" 4:49
5. "This Familiar Way" 5:03
6. "What's Out There" 3:59
7. "A Kind of Courage" 4:08
8. "Wakes" 4:23
9. "One Way Out" 2:55
10. "Outlaster" 5:20
iTunes Bonus Track[11]
No. Title Length
11. "I'monamotherfuckingboat" 1:51
Total length: 42:34

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalog #
Ireland June 4, 2010 Fat Cat Records CD, LP, DI FATCD/LP82
United Kingdom June 7, 2010 Fat Cat Records CD, LP, DI FATCD/LP82
Japan June 16, 2010 P-Vine Records CD, DI
United States June 22, 2010 Fat Cat Records CD, LP, DI FATCD/LP82

Personnel[edit]

  • Nina Nastasia — vocals, acoustic guitar
  • Steve Albini — recording, mixing
  • Jay Bellerose — drums
  • Paul Bryan — electric bass, piano, orchestral arrangements and conducting
  • Oto Carrillo — french horn
  • Stephen Day — cello
  • James Falzone — clarinet
  • Kennan Gudjonsson — artwork, musical direction
  • June Matayoshi — oboe, english horn
  • Jeff Parker — electric guitar
  • Jason Stein — bass clarinet
  • Matt Szemela — violin
  • Amie Weiss — violin
  • Dylan Willemsa — arrangement on "What's Out There" (with Paul Bryan)
  • Lev 'Ljova' Zhurbin — viola

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Recording Journal". Paul Bryan. Retrieved 2011-10-14. 
  2. ^ "Nastasia's Peel Session - December 5, 2002". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-03-29. 
  3. ^ "BMI Repertoire Database for "Cry Baby"". BMI.com. Retrieved 2010-03-29. 
  4. ^ "BMI Repertoire Database for "Your Red Nose"". BMI.com. Retrieved 2010-03-29. 
  5. ^ "Nina Nastasia announces Paris show". FatCat.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-04-22. 
  6. ^ a b c ""Cry, Cry, Baby" discography entry". FatCat.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-03-29. 
  7. ^ "BBC iPlayer - Marc Riley: 25 May 2010". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-05-29. 
  8. ^ "ClashMusic Competition". ClashMusic.com. Retrieved 2010-05-19. 
  9. ^ ""What's Out There" premiere". Stereogum.com. Retrieved 2010-05-19. 
  10. ^ "Official Store". NinaNastasiaStore.com. Retrieved 2010-05-29. 
  11. ^ a b "Outlaster (Exclusive Version)". iTunes.Apple.com. Retrieved 2011-10-14. 
  12. ^ "Rockfeedback Session". RockFeedBack.com. Retrieved 2010-10-08. 
  13. ^ "Official Newsletter: tour dates". Campaign-Archive.com. Retrieved 2010-10-08. 
  14. ^ "Nina Nastasia confirms single, tour dates". ClashMusic.com. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  15. ^ "Nina Nastasia UK tour dates". Fat-cat.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  16. ^ "Outlaster by Nina Nastasia reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Official MySpace Profile". MySpace.com. Retrieved 2010-04-13. 
  18. ^ ""Cry, Cry, Baby" music video". YouTube.com. Retrieved 2011-10-14. 
  19. ^ "Fat Cat Sampler". ReadersRecommend.com. Retrieved 2010-03-29. 
  20. ^ "Various Artists - Fat Cat Records 2009 Sampler discography entry". FatCat.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-03-29. 
  21. ^ glastoglasto. ""You Can Take Your Time" performed live at London Roundhouse on August 8, 2008". YouTube.com. Retrieved 2010-03-29. 
  22. ^ ""You Can Take Your Time" discography entry". FatCat.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-11-25.