Published on March 26th, 2014 | by TLV News0
Baltimore’s Multitasker Chester Gwazda Off the Leash & Live at Lamar Lounge on March 28
Chester Endersby Gwazda’s self-released lush indie-rock debut Shroud came out quietly in 2012 as a pay-whatever digital download. But after a lot of positive word-of-mouth and a memorable stint opening for Dan Deacon on a two-month tour, it’s been picked up by both American and UK labels for re-release. He’s back on the road this summer, taking his production-happy, melodic pop music to Europe in May and June.
Chester first made his name as an underground producer, recording and mixing breakthrough records, at times for nothing but food and lodging, for some of the most interesting groups in the American indie scene—acts like Dan Deacon, Future Islands, Cloud Nothings, Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, Air Waves, etc.—to the point where b magazine saw fit to dub him Baltimore’s “best producer of indie-rock.” He has also long been a sought-after live player, performing synth and bass duties for the Dan Deacon Ensemble and Nuclear Power Pants.
Despite his full schedule realizing the visions of others, he was all the while quietly writing and recording an ever-growing personal catalog of indie-pop nuggets. These songs became Shroud, available as a cassette from Friends Records, as a name-your-price download via Bandcamp, and soon as a vinyl record from UK’s label/promoter site Upset the Rhythm (pre-order HERE for £10.00 –> ~$16.50 USD).
With Shroud, not only do we finally get a glimpse of Gwazda the songwriter, but we finally see the producer totally off the leash. The album is full of vocal harmonies, meticulous arrangements, & precise timbres that bespeak his sensitive ear and fascination with pop music. And he’s honed his touring setup to capture Shroud’s oversize sound live, seamlessly incorporating backing tracks and live drums into what otherwise is an intimate solo performance.