A fleet of friends
helps Rain Phoenix
make Babies. Check the
sexily-mysterious videos, below.
BY SELENA FRAGASSI
Smack dab in the middle of papercranes’ recent album, Lets Make Babies in the Woods (Manimal
Vinyl), is a regaling trumpet solo. A stoic salute to the unwavering vocals of
band commander Rain Phoenix, the horns on standout track “Dust Season” are even
more curious when you consider the soldier behind it: Flea – as in the Red Hot
Chili Peppers’ bassist.
“It’s not necessarily what he’s known for but I knew he
loved playing trumpet and was in school for it at the time,” says Phoenix of
the long-time friend, an acquaintance of her late brother River, who she joined
on tour as a backup vocalist before pursuing her own songwriting. “It’s
interesting how you don’t necessarily approach somebody knowing why until
they’re there.” In actuality, Phoenix’s
belief in her intuition, from artistic collaborators to a fine-tuned recording
process, helped make Babies an even
more impressive and introspective reproduction than her first-born, 2006’s Vidalia.
“The only thing I was sure about on this record is that we’d
experiment,” she says, “and I didn’t second guess it, even if it made me feel
was so strict about the stream of consciousness process that a newly formed
team of co-conspirators (among them, Plexi/Sweethead’s Norm Block, Jenny O.,
For Squirrels’ Andy Lord, and even guest cellist Dermot Mulroney) were not
allowed to bring their work home with them at the end of the day.
“I didn’t want anyone to have the track and listen to it to
come up with a part. I wanted them to just walk in, hear it, and play what came
to their mind,” Phoenix notes of the inaugural papercranes recording sessions,
held in a friend’s garage in L.A. “It was less about the smoke and mirrors of
what you could do, and more about the soul of the song, regardless [of whether]
it was defective somehow.”
Lucky for Phoenix,
her Babies turned out to be a perfect
Go here to read the
BLURT review of papercranes’ Babies album.