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Over the course of his 30-year career as an influential songwriter, record producer, and studio owner, John Vanderslice has carved out a singular place for himself in the landscape of American indie rock. Between 2000 and 2014, JV released 10 records on Barsuk, Dead Oceans, and Secretly Canadian, and collaborated as a producer and musician on records by Spoon, the Mountain Goats, Okkervil River, Death Cab for Cutie and Tune-Yards. In April 2018, Vanderslice decided to leap back into his solo career with full force, hunkering down for over 50 days in his San Francisco studio Tiny Telephone in a process that yielded The Cedars—Vanderslice’s most ambitious record to date. The Cedars (Native Cat Recordings 2019) approaches the craft of songwriting from every direction but the front, in a non-linear process driven by drum machines, synthesizers, and an unpredictable palette of sonic textures. In an act of getting both figuratively and literally lost in the woods, Vanderslice finds himself favoring chaos and deconstruction over well-worn paths of familiar sounds and instrumentation.

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