Echo One
Thrill Jockey
Includes Instant Download
Incl. VAT plus shipping / Orders from outside the EU are exempt from VAT
1Lions of Least 2:18
2The North Coast 2:57
3Left With Lights 3:46
4Across the Steppe 3:27
5The Expanding Sky 3:36
6Silver Shadow 3:35
7Stay Out, What a Sight 3:11
8Royal Colors 4:03
9Panoptica 6:25

For their new album Echo Ono the three brothers who make up Pontiak conceived of recording an expressionistic record. Something unlike anything they had tried before. They imagined it as a color project, painted through music, favoring the traditional form of the song to explore texture and color. The album was an ambitious undertaking and would require deconstructing and then rebuilding their studio in order to be able to record it the way they envisioned it.

The first step was to find a new mixing board. They found a Soundcraft 6000 24 track analog mixing board for sale on an exotic animal compound in Arkansas. To their surprise it was tucked away in a studio next to giant Moog synthesizers and had been used to record Herbie Hancock. Board in hand, they returned home and began rebuilding their studio to capture both the band’s heavier sound and the melodic nuances they’re becoming known for. They focused on the acoustic properties of the space, paying great attention to the subtly of the room. After a detour to the Austin Psych Fest that involved tornadoes and chainsaws, recording began immediately.

Recorded at their farm studio in the heart of Virginia, Van, Lain, and Jennings rotated between their respective instruments and engineering duties. They treated the recording equipment as another instrument, placing just as much importance on the sound leaving the amps and drum skins as the sound written on the tape. If it wasn’t as colorful and tangible throughout the entire songwriting process it was unacceptable. While previous Pontiak albums had been approached more loosely as snapshots of a specific time, focusing on the current songs, and their current energy, Echo Ono is different. It was conceived of as an album. Instead of recording hours and hours of songs and then fitting the best pieces together, careful attention was paid to the narrative of the album and the structure of the songs as well as how each directed that narrative. What was left to chance was what would happen when the band pushed these structures to the extreme in performance and volume.

No distortion or overdrive pedals were used. If an amp started to act unpredictably, they turned it up. If a speaker started rattling, they pushed it. Music so loud it produces physical vibrations in your chest. Echo Ono feels like a complete whole, as well as their most concise and direct album to date.