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Bystander

by Johanna Samuels

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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    First pressing on "dusty sunset" vinyl. Limited to 1000 copies.
    Includes 11x22 gatefold poster with lyrics, credits and additional artwork from Pear Juice Productions/

    Includes unlimited streaming of Bystander via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 5 days
    edition of 1000 
    Purchasable with gift card

      $23 USD or more 

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Highly portable compact disc edition in a cardboard wallet with an 8 page lyric insert.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Bystander via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 5 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $15 USD or more 

     

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $9 USD  or more

     

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Any Good 03:35
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Tampa 04:10
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Inside Girl 03:23

about

The first witnesses to Samuels’ new beginnings fittingly became part of the sound of the album. During her darkest moments, while writing in isolation, her old friends in the band Bonny Light Horseman offered to take her out on tour in early 2020. “They re-contextualized music for me all over again,” she says. Observing a truly kind and compassionate music community brought Samuels out of herself even more. Inspired by conversations with producer Josh Kaufman (The Hold Steady, Bob Weir, Cassandra Jenkins) on the road, Samuels took him up on his offer to produce her new songs and retreated to Isokon Studios in Woodstock, NY in the summer of 2021. They made the album as a duo, with Matt Barick (The Walkmen, Fleet Foxes) contributing drums on the entirety of the record. The result is a sonic template that ranges from the soaring and orchestral to the understated and confessional; at turns free-wheeling and filled with swagger then sincere and precise, with each subtle movement serving to highlight Samuels’ lyrical journeys.

As happens with albums that feel kinetic upon listening, the recording of Bystander with this skeleton crew of trusted friends served to underscore the questions Samuels had set out to answer when she began writing: “I had to ask myself ‘what are my values? What kind of people do I want around?”

In answering them, Samuels illuminates her path out of the wreckage. She doesn’t shy away from where she’s been but more importantly, over the course of these eleven elegiac poems set to a carefully curated symphony of tones, Samuels lets us know where she’s headed. Walking out of a thousand toxic conversations and away from a thousand false illusions, she’s stepping out into the street, with a glass raised for “whoever the fuck is left.” Listeners can count themselves among those being toasted; the lucky ones who get to greet Samuels and hear the tales of her reckoning.

credits

released June 23, 2023

PRODUCED by Josh Kaufman
ENGINEERED, MIXED & MASTERED by D. James Goodwin
RECORDED at The Isokon in Woodstock, NY & The Bat House in Kingston, NY

PLAYERS: Johanna Samuels, Josh Kaufman, Matt Barrick
WITH: Adam Brisbin, Annie Nero, A.O. Gerber, Dan Knishkowy, Madison Cunningham, Phil Krohnengold, Steven Van Betten, Thomas Bartlett

ALBUM ART by Allyson Yarrow Pierce & Pear Juice Productions.

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Johanna Samuels Los Angeles, California

songs 🌼 BIPOC lives matter

'Excelsior!' is out now on Mama Bird Recording Co. (US/World) & Basin Rock (UK/EU).

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