Olden Yolk, the duo of songwriters Shane Butler and Caity Shaffer, share a new single and video, “Distant Episode,” from their forthcoming album,Living Theatre, out May 17th via Trouble in Mind.
WATCH “DISTANT EPISODE” –
Following the “warm harmonies, spirited drum fills and bright guitar riffs” (NPR Music) of lead single “Cotton & Cane,” “Distant Episode” is an exploration of disconnection, led by eerie piano and Shaffer’s spectral vocals . The video, directed by Butler and Shaffer, is made of a peculiar collection of black and white movie clips selected from the Prelinger archives.
“‘Distant Episode’ is about rituals of escape, the ties between women, and summoning courage. The title references a Paul Bowles story of the same name, about a linguistics professor whose tongue gets cut out. The video was inspired by a certain time of night, when you can walk down some street and see TV screens flickering on the inner walls of houses.”
Living Theatre is the follow-up to Olden Yolk’s 2018 self-titled LP. Throughout the album, there are moments of stark minimalism and cinematic maximalism, reflective of Shaffer and Butler’s lyrical intimacy and vivid arrangements. The title was inspired by the experimental thespian movement in New York of the same name, in which actors broke from tradition by creating an experience of communal expression. Their songwriting palette takes cues from influences as disparate as avant garde punk, psychedelic folk, and experimental electronic music. After spending a year on the road without a home base, the duo was inspired by both freedom and restriction in their creative practice, and set to record the album in a constrained period of 3 months. They wrote all summer, in a space with no windows, molding private conversations into more expansive works that address concepts of home, spirituality, and ancestry in a contemporary landscape.
Olden Yolk will play their record release show May 16th at Baby’s All Right, kicking off their North American tour in support of Living Theatre. Then, they will continue to tour in the UK.