Gabriel Sullivan's latest solo album, JVPITER, finds Sullivan stripping away the horns and percussion of his last project, Taraf de Tucson, to bring the focus on the songs themselves.
JVPITER was written over the course of a year in Tucson, Arizona. Through the help of Kickstarter Sullivan was able to fly himself and bassist Thøger T. Lund to the Northwest coast of Denmark to spend one week recording in a secluded farmhouse with the Danish portion of Giant Sand as the backing band. There was no internet and no phone service, the sun was only down for 2 hours a day, animals wandered outside the windows of the studio... this all comes through the musicians performances to provide the foreign sonic landscape of JVPITER.
After spending two years supporting his last release, None Of This Is Mine, with the 10 piece balkan brass meets cumbia ensemble Taraf de Tucson, Sullivan decided it was time to focus his attentions on making songs that could stand on their own. Songs that could be performed with a voice and a guitar and still have the same power as with a band. The album's opening track "Seven Cataracts" is a Hazelwood-esque tune laced with big electric guitars and silky string sections, but through it all the listener's focus remains on Sullivan's voice and the content it delivers. "Hollow Hunter" is a psychedelic and haunting reflection of the artist's producing capabilities as it weaves floating synths with a tribal rhythm section all culminating into a bizarre and otherworldly string melody.
Sullivan currently tours as a solo artist with just him and his guitar, or with backing bands upwards of ten musicians. He performs and collaborates regularly with Tucson staple Howe Gelb. His psychedelic cumbia group Chicha Dust, with fellow Tucson musician Brian Lopez, performs frequently in the Tucson area. Sullivan has produced multiple albums for other artists over the past couple of years. He has even found the time to write, record, and post one song per day in 2014 as part of a project he calls The Crucible. Through all of the projects he has taken on, JVPITER, stands as the most cohesive and explorative collection of songs in his catalog.
-Carl Hanni, Tucson, AZ