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Pull Closer to Me: Live in the Piano Room

by The Claudettes

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about

When the Claudettes do a show, they roam a wide range of dynamics, often following a stomping rocker with a ballad offering the mellowest of mellow tones. When they played a Connecticut festival in 2016, though, there was no choice. After the electricity quit, Johnny Iguana headed for the piano against the wall of the old field house. Drummer Matt Torre switched to percussion, singers Berit Ulseth and Zach Verdoorn came down to the crowd and the band's acoustic set began.

The ensuing standing ovations convinced Matt to suggest the Claudettes go unplugged when filming live videos that winter, and the intimate session that followed yielded magical results. The audio amounted to one of the band’s favorite documents of themselves…and an EP was born.

Here we have three songs that will come out in VERY different form on the electric album "The Claudettes Left My Home in Shambles," due out late 2017. The dreamlike "Pull Closer to Me" finds the singer in such a state of bliss that she figures she must have left earthly existence. "Death and Traffic" is a prayer for more triumphs and fewer tragedies in the news. And "November" traces the life of an artist from hoping to break in to trying to hold on.

The borrowed songs date from the heydays of glam, classic rock, alt-rock and soul. Berit's voice gets sublime showcases in the band's takes on the Ruby & the Romantics 1963 hit "Our Day Will Come" and the Sundays' signature song from 1990, "Here's Where the Story Ends." Her vocal on the band's riveting version of Pink Floyd's "Us and Them" morphs into an Otis Redding coda, with Berit singing the whistled part of "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" over those beautiful Floyd chords. And Zach Verdoorn takes the mic for a stunning turn on T. Rex's masterpiece of melody and mystery, "Cosmic Dancer."

"Pull Closer to Me: The Claudettes, Live in the Piano Room" is the sound of a band who love to get loud, but who arguably have their greatest impact when they break it way, way down.

credits

released February 28, 2017

Piano - Johnny Iguana
Vocals - Berit Ulseth
Guitar and Vocals - Zach Verdoorn
Drums - Matt Torre

Recorded by Johnny Iguana in his piano room
Mixed and mastered by Anthony Gravino at the Drake
Cameras - Melissa Ferguson, Chris Petke, Michael Hermanson
Graphic design - Donna Drapeau

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The Claudettes Chicago, Illinois

The Claudettes fuse Windy City piano blues with the full-throttle energy of rockabilly and punk, jazz-age echoes of burlesque and vaudeville and the sultriness of '60s pop-soul to write a thrilling new chapter in American roots music. Johnny Iguana (ex-Junior Wells/Otis Rush/oh my god) works the piano alongside singer Berit Ulseth, bassist/singer Zach Verdoorn and drummer Matt Torre. ... more

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Track Name: November
She's still dying for a toehold, before she finds herself too old
Dusty piles of the unsold, should've done like she was told

August of two thousand and three
That was the best month that she'd ever seen
Tour bus and flowers and white limousine

Now she's fumbling for a foothold, and she knows it's getting late
She's still trying for a toehold

September of two thousand and ten
The end of an era, it seemed to her then
November, the winter came early again

Now she's vying for a toehold, with no ambition at all
She's just fumbling for a foothold, only trying not to fall

Are you fighting for a foothold, after climbing up this far?
Are you scratching for a toehold, staring skyward at the stars?
Track Name: Pull Closer to Me
I think that I died, the world is loaded with clues
The first one is you. I think that I died

I don't think I'm here, I'm much too content.
Don't know where I went, but I don't think I'm here.

Don't know where I am, but I have you along.
Don't know for how long, but I have you along.

Don't know where I'm going but you decided to come
Along for the ride. I think that I died.

The way the crowds became ghosts, the way they won't make a sound,
The way I have you around. I think that I died.

I wonder how it went down. I've got a feeling I drowned,
'Cause everything is drifting and I don't hear a sound.
And I can't touch the ground, and I'm looking around
And it's you that surrounds, and we sink to the ground
And stop breathing together, and we've finally found
The isolation we seek, no one else is around
And I'm thrilled that we're bound to never be found
So let's kill the lights, and let's kill the sound
And you close your eyes, and I'll close mine, too
And pull closer to me, and I'll pull closer to you.

I think that I died, the world is loaded with clues
The first one is you. I think that I died

I don't think I'm here, I'm much too content.
Don't know where I went, but I don't think I'm here.

Don't know where I am, but I have you along.
Don't know for how long, but I have you along.

Don't know where I'm going but you decided to come
Along for the ride. I think that I died.
Track Name: Death and Traffic
I don't want to hear "We got 'im!" "We got 'im!"
I can't bear to hear "They shot 'im!" "They shot 'im!"
All I wanna hear when the dust has cleared is "We found 'em! We found 'em! We found 'em!"
All I wanna hear is "Yes, my dear, the fear is nearly over."

I want that man to say "I love you, my brother"
To take away the day when someone has to tell bad news to a mother
And I want to see the day when you men in grey say "I won't destroy another…another"
The boys in the city and the girls so pretty should run for fun, not for cover…for cover

From the front seat…he hears him…in the backseat…singing and laughing
As he drives him to class, all the radio blasts is death…just death, and traffic
He feels he has to shield his young boy's ears from the world that's all around him, that surrounds him
So he says louder than the news, "Let's go out to the zoo, and go for ice cream," and he says, "Can we?," he says, "Can we?"

I just want to hear, "We saved them! We saved them!"
I just want to hear, "We saved them! We saved them!
I only want to hear, "We saved them! We saved them!"
I only want to hear, "We saved them! We saved them!"