Limited edition CD housed in a silk-screened box with twelve double sided full color inserts reproducing paintings by frontwoman and guitarist Tara Key (one for each track).
Blistering NYC rock trio Antietam releases their tenth and most ambitious album, Intimations of Immortality. It is the first on the band’s own Motorific Sounds imprint, and this limited edition CD box set is the only physical version available. The gorgeous box includes reproductions of 12 paintings by frontwoman and guitarist Tara Key, one for each track, that are as textured and detailed as the songs that inspired them.
Moving into their fourth decade as a band, Antietam has been a life’s work and driving force for Tara Key, with her husband and collaborator, bassist Tim Harris, and drummer Josh Madell; it is the center of Key’s creative life. Intimations of Immortality is a record about pursuing that creativity with passion and honesty in the face of life’s obstacles. Key’s triumphant songs push the theory of the unbending power of friendship and perseverance, delivering a set of emotional and life-affirming rock and roll.
More than any album in their discography, Intimations of Immortality displays the band’s powerful heaviness, but offers melodies enriched with some unexpected instrumentation (banjo, mandolin, sax, piano). Textures of Neil Young and the 13th Floor Elevators are audible in the mix. While Antietam maintains its bruising power trio status, led by Key’s Les Paul guitar attack, IOI is propelled to new heights by creative collaborators including longtime friends Yo La Tengo—James McNew mixed the album with Tara, and Ira Kaplan guests on piano. Many others from Antietam’s close-knit NYC scene drop in as well, including Sue Garner (The Shams, Run On) on vocals; Katie Gentile (Special Pillow, Mad Scene) on violin; The Scene Is Now’s Cheryl Kingan (saxes) and Steven Levi (cornet) chime in throughout; and Steve Cooley, a bluegrass legend from Tara and Tim’s original hometown of Louisville, KY, joins on mandolin and guitar.
IOI is a road map of the terrain of a life, a clear-eyed historic survey of Key’s 60 years on this planet, her band’s long journey, and the broader state of the union. Tara Key and Tim Harris’s story begins in the Louisville punk scene of the late 1970s. The couple relocated to NYC in the early ’80s, formed Antietam, and signed to the legendary Homestead Records. Josh Madell joined up in 1990 (and he founded NYC’s beloved Other Music record shop in ’95), heralding a prolific period for both Antietam and Tara Key’s solo releases. They delivered a trifecta of albums in the new millennium on Chicago’s recently shuttered Carrot Top Records (Victory Park—2004, Opus Mixtum—2008, Tenth Life—2011). The band’s tenacity is unwavering. Antietam insists on a seat at the table of rock and roll, beating assumptions about what it means to remain creative and vital against the odds.
“[Tara is] the guitar goddess whose expressive playing and electrified stage presence can’t be topped by any local rival, male, female or otherwise. But what’s also great about this veteran band is the interplay between Ms. Key, her husband, Tim Harris, on bass and Josh Madell on drums.” — Ann Powers /The New York Times