Virginia-based psychedelic jam band Kendall Street Company introduces us to the first part of their forthcoming instrumental space odyssey with part one of The Year the Earth Stood Still! Titled Ninurta, this eight-track funky fringe rock compilation leads listeners down a hypothetical path of the emotions one would experience if the world were to stop spinning.
And, let’s be honest, the global pandemic kind of did make the earth stand still on its axis last year…
Was COVID-19 the catalyst that propelled Kendall Street Company to drop their previously planned musical ambitions to produce this project with a blank slate? The band comments on the pivot and their motives behind it: “After a year of dedicated work on behalf of our 2020 release, The Stories We Write For Ourselves, an album of delicately-crafted indie songwriter inspired tunes with well-defined parts and, perhaps, an excess of thoughtfulness behind every last detail, we felt ready to do a 180 and start from the ground up on a new project with no preconceived expectations. With our touring lifestyle put on hold, we were kind of in a state of ‘what do we do now?’ To quote the Twilight Zone, ‘there was time now… there was all the time I wanted.’ It just so happened that White Star Sound in Louisa, VA (where we recorded our 2017 release Space For Days) was looking to fill some slots for the summer. And, even more fatefully, our soon-to-be beloved engineer, John Trainum, who we had admired for some time because of his work with Kate Bollinger, had been housesitting at the studio all summer long and was super enthused about taking on the project.”
The band continues, “One more factor that made this project the perfect storm of what it turned out to be, was our freely improvised practice jam sessions that we had been conducting the first few months of the pandemic. Some of the parts in the tracks ‘On Call’ and ‘The Space Race’ were built upon these practices, for example. Funny enough, the first 10 seconds or so of ‘On Call’ is actually a phone recording of one of our practice sessions, blasted into the studio microphone, before we launch into the actual studio take. Most of the songs on the record, however, were completely composed in the studio. This concept of building an album almost completely from scratch is an idea we had been talking about as early as 2016 while were were recording Earth Turns and learning about the magic that can take place in a studio environment. Without the pandemic, I’m not so sure we would have taken that deliberate pause to make such a project happen.”
Clearly, TYTESS: Ninurta was an unplanned answer to an unexpected turn of life events. But, a multitude of the best music ever created follows this same cause-and-effect pattern. The new EP is an explosive, captivating, emotive, twisting saga of time and space — premiering in full today on Top Shelf Music before it hits all digital outlets on June 11th! If you dig it (which we have a sneaking suspicion you will), mark your calendars, for the second half, Inertia, comes out September 24th. Tune into our exclusive stream of the forthcoming first half below and make sure to follow Kendall Street Company for more to come.
Exclusive world premiere of Kendall Street Company’s ‘The Year the Earth Stood Still: Ninurta’:
Album artwork & design by Nicole Lewis; cover photos by Belle Pace
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.