About KR-51 by Clare And The Reasons:
Clare and the Reasons present their third record, KR-51, which was created in Berlin and follows the band’s critically acclaimed 2009 release, Arrow, and their debut album, The Movie, which included collaborations with Sufjan Stevens and Van Dyke Parks. The album will be preceded by the first single "The Lake."
Clare and the Reasons call Brooklyn home, but after touring around the world extensively with Van Dyke Parks, My Brightest Diamond, and on their own, they needed a new setting, one that would make them see and hear differently. For eight months in 2011 they lived in an apartment on Berlin’s Bergstrasse, on the western edges of what used to be the East. They got a 1968 Schwalbe moped, model KR-51, and sped around the city at a velocity the congested New York streets would have prohibited.
While riding under the vast skies of Berlin, the city a blurred filmstrip of cobblestones, trees, and graffiti, they dreamed up the sounds of this new record. After months of writing under the influence of Berlin they packed up a van and drove to Haldern-Rees, a little German village, to record KR-51. In October through November of 2011, they recorded for long hours, in between bicycling in and around cow fields, under an unimaginable number of stars.
The band sunk themselves into a city of many histories, a city of concrete boxes and fluted columns. Those contrasts, at times stark and streamlined, at times grandly lush, show up in the 11 songs on KR-51. They carry the meticulous orchestration and innovative songwriting Clare and the Reasons are known for, while also carrying a little more sorrow, a lot more distorted guitar, and a little more darkness of heart.
Clare studied the way Lotte Lenya delivered so convincingly, and you may hear the adventurous attitude of early Kate Bush in Clare’s writing. The great James McAlister (Sufjan Stevens) played drums on the album, filling it with crunch and bang, driving the record. In a world of sound banks and sequencers, an orchestra made up of members of the Orchestre de Paris materialized, and was recorded live in Paris, something Clare and the Reasons consider a miracle. This album is their Berlin.