Portland Oregon artist, The Wheel, released his self-titled debut album on October 6, through Lakeshore Records. The musical alias of longtime producer and session guitarist Avram Brown, The Wheel is good friends with Raymond Richards, known for his work with Local Natives, and LCD Soundsystem, and asked him to co-produce and engineer the entire project. ‘The Wheel’ album is out now, and can be streamed, downloaded, and purchased on vinyl and CD. Find out more here.
Further collaborators on ‘The Wheel’ include violist/arranger Kyleen King, who has worked with Brandi Carlile, and The Decemberists, recording engineer Larry Crane (Elliot Smith) and the late great Ralph Carney. known for his work with Tom Waits, and The B-52s, among others. Carney’s gorgeous baritone saxophone and bass clarinet contributions to the album are sadly the last tracks he ever recorded, and therefore must make the record even more special.
‘Coyote Mask’ was released ahead of ‘The Wheel’ and comes with a spectacular music video fitting of such a stunning song and album. Avram Brown, in speaking about the track, said,
“‘Coyote Mask’ is a song about the transformational power of love lost. It’s about awakening to a peaceful place of aloneness without loneliness. It’s an acknowledgement of the vulnerability required to allow new love to blossom and heal, without hiding behind deeply ingrained patterns of avoidance.”
He further adds,
“Interestingly, the piano used on the recording of ‘Coyote Mask’ belonged to Elliot Smith. We tracked the initial sessions at Larry Crane’s Jackpot! Studios in Portland. Larry produced much of Smith’s early work and is the music archivist of the Elliot Smith estate.”
The music video for ‘Coyote Mask’, directed by Karl Whinnery and Evan Gandy, sees The Wheel (Avram Brown), performing alongside Ji Tanzer, Benjamin Wright, Scott Macdonald, and Scott Jeffries. While they are in the studio, the clip itself features visuals of a kaleidoscopic, technicolor nature, ever changing thanks to the motion graphics created by by Ben Guerette and the Spool app team. Each musician, as they play their instrument, is highlighted by various colours, images of spinning planets and stars, and sunshine and clouds. Avram Brown’s raspy vocals, as he accompanies himself on guitar, are a suitably eclectic match for the video, and the folk/country rhythms further add to the vibe.
Watch the music video for ‘Coyote Mask’ below, and let us know what you think in the comments. You can find out more about The Wheel and his music by following him online on his official website, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.