Guitars, etc.: Jason Robbins
Keys, vocals: Pia Robbins
Husband and wife, Jason and Pia Robbins, left Los Angeles in 2005 with their dog, Walrus, in search of a setting that better suited their personalities. Something smaller, slower, and quieter was in order. They landed in Eugene, Oregon. Even the rain felt right. The change in scenery had a profound impact on their musical relationship: The Comforters was born.
Following the release of their first record, Transplants, The Comforters quickly found ears from around the world tuned to the bittersweet in life. Radio programs in the U.S. and Europe played “Lazy Sundays” and “I Want To Rock”. Most recently, “I Want To Rock”, was featured in the movie Girls Named Pinky that debuted at the 2010 SXSW Film Festival.
The Comforters follow the emotional punch they delivered on Transplants with a knockout blow of ten alternatingly heartbreaking and heartwarming songs on their new record, Two Piece Orchestra. “We had some huge highs and some huge lows in our lives and those experiences definitely made their mark on this record,” says Pia. “For some of the songs, like “Would It Break Your Heart?” and “Gibraltar,” it wasn’t until we had recorded them and lived with them for a while that we realized, “Oh boy, that’s what that song is about.” “This is both the record we wanted to make and the record that, I think, we had to make – for us,” adds Jason, “We’re extremely proud of this record.”
Two Piece Orchestra maneuvers expertly between sparse acoustic ballads, jovial ditties, and glorious indie/chamber pop. The light-hearted title track opens the record with Pia innocently singing, “I play air timpani with the Boston Symphony, hello,” as an endearing Belle and Sebastian-like ensemble of acoustic guitar, glockenspiel, and trombone join her. “The Fall of Fall” follows with its gentle fingerpicked acoustic guitar, chiming electric guitar accents, and Pia’s vulnerable vocal that calls to mind Simon and Garfunkel by way of Kings of Convenience. “Would It Break Your Heart?” opens slowly with a solo nylon-stringed acoustic guitar and builds gradually, Wilco-like, to its climax of acoustic and electric guitar, organ, piano, melllotron and drums (courtesy of founding Wilco member, Ken Coomer).
Fans of folk, indie pop, chamber pop, and plain old great songwriting should find Two Piece Orchestra a beautiful and welcome addition to their record collection.
The Comforters recorded Transplants at their own Big Timbre Studio in Eugene. Jason has engineered and produced records by artists such as Dwight Yoakam, Pete Anderson, Michelle Shocked, Curt Kirkwood.
“We worked hard on crafting a record that has a unified sound”, says Jason, “even if we wander around stylistically. With Pia – you know, she has such a beautiful voice that communicates so much, that it’s just painting around that with sounds and textures.” The irony is that, while on the surface there is an air of tranquility and endless calm to the album, the songs reveal an unsettling dead-calm that is the backdrop to affairs, depression, heartbreak, alienation and yes, some negative things as well.
The Comforters have quickly found ears tuned to the bittersweet in life. Their songs are receiving airplay on several radio programs across the U.S and in Europe. The Comforters have had songs placed in films and other media. Most recently their song, I Want To Rock, made a trip to the 2010 SXSW Film Festival. It was featured in the film Girls Named Pinky.
The Beatles, Aimee Mann, Pernice Brothers, Nick Drake, Elliot Smith, Lisa Germano, Neil Finn, Mojave 3, Brian Wilson, Gram Parsons, Cowboy Junkies, Lucinda Williams
Folks say we sound like:
Cowboy Junkies, Ida, Camera Obscura, Iron and Wine, Rose Melberg, Kings of Convenience, Mojave 3, Innocence Mission, Club 8, Let's Go Sailing, Maria Taylor, The Concretes, Hem, Dar Williams, Sambassadeur
Our favorite fan description:
"Goosebump Beautiful Musik" -from Anik in Belgrade