Gwyneth Moreland - 'Ceilings Floors and Open Doors' (album stream) (Premiere)

Stripped down with no overdubs and sparse production, Ceilings Floors and Open Doors finds California singer/songwriter Gwyneth Moreland distilling her musical voice to its purest essence.

Ceilings Floors and Open Doors has a tricky task to pull off. On the one hand, like so many confessional, lo-fi singer/songwriter albums these days, the record finds California singer/songwriter Gwyneth Moreland avoiding the bells and whistles that comes with much of today's recording software. Ceilings is stripped-down to the most basic level recording-wise; at times, tinges of lo-fi buzz can be heard seeping into Moreland's acoustic guitar-driven musings. On the other hand, so many lo-fi albums use that austere type of recording as a gimmick, obscuring whatever unique thing an artist might have to say in favor of sounding "authentic". Fortunately, the latter folly is nowhere to be found on Ceilings, as Moreland uses a lo-fi sonic to enhance her voice and her songwriting, not to obfuscate them. The result is a singer/songwriter LP with the warmth and intimacy of a small house show.

On the subject of her new album, Moreland had this to say to PopMatters: "It all started with a cat named Babs. A dear sweet cat named Babs belonging to David Hayes, the man who pulled me out of my self appointed "time off" of music to get this latest batch of songs down in swell style... throwing back local wine in his studio overlooking an abandoned Georgia Pacific mill site (that looks over the Pacific Ocean) and recording each track live, with a mockingbird outside sometimes singing along like a stream of consciousness saxophonist."

Ceilings Floors and Open Doors is out on November 18th.

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