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photo by James Bailey

Goldfinch is Aaron Stevens, Grace Sullivan, Paul Hirschl, Jake Rohr, & Steve Norman.


Tacoma band Goldfinch has been quietly working over the summer, writing new material &, aside from a few notable shows (Bumbershoot & The Triple Door), has taken a break from frequent touring. Recording began in early September on the songs previously only debuted during live performances.

In December of 2010 Goldfinch will be releasing Vacant Lot/Elephant. This is their first in a series of a/b singles leading up to their second full length album since the band’s critically acclaimed 2009 debut. Tracking for the drums happened at the newly renovated Columbia City Studios by Gary Mula. The rest of the a/b was then produced & engineered at Wenlock Studios in Tacoma by Luke Stevens. These songs also mark the first time Goldfinch has released music as a complete band with Paul Hirschl (drums), Jake Rohr (bass), & Steve Norman (pedal steel, trumpet) joining after the initial duo’s debut record.

That original duo of songwriters, brother & sister-in-law Aaron Stevens & Grace Sullivan share their living & writing spaces in a Tacoma apartment building. In these new tracks Stevens & Sullivan have moved forward from their earlier writing toward a more complex & unconventional sound, pushing on their own traditions & habits to create songs that boil down their melodies, lyrics & harmonies to punch harder & faster. A long year of wrestling with their relationships & their own personal devils has allowed the full band to create Goldfinch’s clearest artistic voice to date.

Goldfinch populates their songs with characters that are perched on the precipice of adulthood & disappointment. They wade through a grey world populated no longer by good & bad guys, but by the frail, hungry & lonely. Aching vocal & trumpet harmonies crescendo with impossible optimism over lyrics of difficulty & frustration. Beauty transcends, and all is never lost, but these songs contain the seriousness of regret & the scars of high costs paid. At times taunting & pleading, sometimes giving over to tenderness, they speak of the longings & desires for home with the weariness & skepticism of middle age.

The pair of new tracks will be available pre-release streaming free for a limited time once they’re complete & the band has plans in place for a Winter tour in support of the first in their new series of single releases.



“Does it look like Goldfinch is hiding something?

Goldfinch is Grace Sullivan and Aaron Stevens. But mostly Goldfinch is its own thing – just Goldfinch. Grace plays keyboards and sings. Aaron plays guitar and sings. Friends play with them, sing with them, or not. Choose to listen to the music and you’ll see that Goldfinch likes the lone-highway desolation that comes with its sparse lineup. Aaron grew up the son of a foursquare preacher. Grace says she came from the dodge-ball denomination.

It’s been a tough couple of years for Goldfinch. People have died. People they loved. People with unresolved issues. To make music in the middle of such hardship – well, they feel like the universe honored that. Choose to listen to their music and you’re choosing catharsis, with all the empty bottles and bloody footprints that come with it.

Choose to listen to the music. It’s been incubating for the dozen years Aaron and Grace banged their harmonious heads against the walls of failed bands and studio sessions. All that frustration was released on one late-night drive home when they talked about the sparse sounds and empty spaces they wanted to create. When Goldfinch came out of its silent shell. Choose to listen to the music. On CD, you’ll see that Goldfinch worked to record all the vocals live, on a single track, and to keep the first take of almost every song. Hear them live, and you’ll walk out singing more and aching less. Perfection is not the goal. Honesty is. Goldfinch doesn’t want to hide behind anything.

They’re sick of putting up fronts. This is really them. No hiding. No secrets. No lies. Just the naked truth.” -Tom Llewellyn

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 1, 2010 12:57 pm

    I found you on youtube… with your birthday clothes… googled you and I’m glad I found your myspace!
    Amazing music!
    Keep it up

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