City Squirrel | defeat

The cinematic song craft of Stephan Bayley has returned on City Squirrel’s third album, defeat. The Portland-based songwriter has released the follow-up to 2010’s blow music with delicate mad worship and, like its predecessors, it’s filled with songs complete with chord changes and melodies you can never anticipate but stay in your head for days afterwards. But peel back the intricate arrangements and you’ll find haunting, emotional lyrics that probe at the human condition.

Bayley performed all the guitar and piano and most of the bass and keyboard parts. Legendary producer Mitch Easter (R.E.M., Pavement, Let’s Active), who played bass and mixed City Squirrel’s first two albums, contributed bass on one song. Karaneh Jahan played keyboards, violin, and provided some background vocals. Drums were provided by Kevin Woodruff, whose complex rhythms bring tracks like ‘lockerbie,” “son rise,” and “free to disappear” to life.

defeat was recorded from September to December 2011 at Bayley’s home studio in Portland and mixed and mastered at Red Pill Studios in St. Louis.


Track Listing

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1. weather, whether [sample]


2. lockerbie


3. free to disappear [sample]


4. son rise [sample]


5. beads and chants


6. comfort [sample]


7. brooklyn [sample]


8. seeking out approval [sample]


9. music [sample]


10. daylight [sample]


11. passerby [sample]


12. lori blue [sample]