the gifted children - the portable sun

Release date: July 14, 2011

the portable sun, the latest EP from the gifted children, was recorded using only the built-in microphone on an iPhone 3G and an app called 'Multitrack'... using this restriction as a tool rather than a hindrance, the gifted children have carefully crafted a surprisingly great-sounding EP, containing a lot of varied sounds: 

'the rapture is a wash' and 'lie detectors' are mostly acoustic, with double-tracked drums, pianos, harmonicas, and pretty vocal harmonies. 'cemetery photo club' fills out a short vocal passage with ebows, staccato piano and frenetic drumming, while 'dark heart' closes out the first side with a simple piano and vocal line which explodes into fuzz bass and droning saxophones. 

the second side begins in classic gifted children style: short, quirky indie rock with a hook that purposely ends shortly after it begins. 'the short sugar' features a great little group singalong, something that is becoming more frequent for the gifted children lately. 'parenthetical nashville blues' is a beautiful piece of melancholy, bringing a quiet moment to the EP before the title track closes things out with a gradually building array of instruments, including guitars, pianos, banjos, saxophones and the unmistakable voice of pam swarts. 

once again, there are a ton of ideas packed into this 13-minute EP, but it somehow remains coherent.

brett dreyer - tenor saxophones on 4, 5 & 8
tim grimaldi - drumset on 1-5 & 8
jim sahr - voice on 6; guitar on 7
justin sheehan - voice on 2 & 6
jeff suszczynski - guitars on 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 & 8; piano on 1, 2, 4, 7 & 8; shakers on 1; voices on 1-7; harmonicas on 2; ebows on 3; bass on 3, 5 & 8; keyboards on 8
pam swarts - voice on 1, 6 & 8; keyboard on 6; banjos on 8
bill trautman - bass on 1, 2, 4, 7 & 8

all songs written november 1-7, 2009, by jeff suszczynski.
recorded using the multitrack app on the iphone, november 2009-may 2011.
mixed and mastered at bad wallpaper, april-may 2011

Lyrics and individual track credits

01 the rapture is a wash

i want my shoes filled with golden sawdust
i want the sun to hit my city cave
i want to brandish all the swords of reason
as the rapture lifts you up away from me

tim grimaldi – drumsets
jeff suszczynski – acoustic guitars, pianos, shakers, voice
pam swarts - voice
bill trautman - bass

02 lie detectors

don’t crush me against your barricade
as you shift towards the door
we could pretend there is no past
we could bring out the lie detector
but the waiting is always the worst of it

tim grimaldi – drumset, floor toms
justin sheehan - voice
jeff suszczynski – acoustic guitars, pianos, voice, harmonicas
bill trautman - bass

03 cemetery photo club

memories lost forever
not even grains of sand in the paste
red trees over granite
lost in halo sunshine

tim grimaldi – drumsets
jeff suszczynski – guitars, ebows, bass, voices

04 dark heart

even gamma rays can't penetrate
through your dark heart

brett dreyer - tenor saxophones
tim grimaldi – drumset
jeff suszczynski – pianos, voices
bill trautman - basses

05 esteeming the flashes

any moment now and we explode
so much lost potential
waiting for applause in an empty room
but they don't want your perfection
they just want your large and unkempt torso
and disappearing hair
for the museum of also-rans
where nothing's ever activated

brett dreyer - tenor saxophones
tim grimaldi – drumset
jeff suszczynski – acoustic guitars, voices, bass

06 the short sugar

float then nestle down
into artifact gray and brown
just churn through unremarkably
without ceremony or thought
announcing the lady pinhole bedwarmer
her gavel pops eardrums
as she exhorts us on:
"if it ends, it ends…"

jim sahr - voices|
justin sheehan - voices
jeff suszczynski - guitars, voices
pam swarts - voice, keyboard

07 parenthetical nashville blues

it's already been indexed
one way traffic in dead cities
|chemical sunset fade to deep blue dusk
sing a hotel lullaby
titled 'a lifestyle of drinking(nashville blues)'

walking carpeted hallways
with the always buzz of machinery
antihistamine snacktime
fighting with vending machines
enough half-thoughts to lose your mind
watching street scenes unfold from above
fall into sweet sleep in fresh sheets
and again tomorrow

jim sahr - guitar
jeff suszczynski – piano, voice
bill trautman - bass

08 the portable sun


brett dreyer - tenor saxophones
tim grimaldi – drumsets
jeff suszczynski – guitars, keyboards, piano, bass
pam swarts - voices, banjos
bill trautman - bass