Brendan & Alison Turner release 'Ghost of a Friend' in the spirit of analog

Brendan and Alison Turner release their country-blues influenced debut LP, Ghost Of A Friend, today, March 29.

“There is something timeless about those late 60’s to early 70’s albums,” says Brendan. “We love recordings from that period – Neil Young, Townes Van Zandt. From the outset, we knew the character of sound we wanted for our music – cracked and dry, with dust on the strings. The sound we heard could only exist on vinyl.”

Accordingly, the performances, track-listing, instrumentation, and microphones were dictated by this choice of medium. Even the paper stock for the gatefold sleeve was subjected to similar rigorous consideration. American artist and good friend, Jim Auckland, illustrated the cover portrait. “Jim has a profound wealth of experience and knows the design of the classic period inside out. We didn’t know what he would do, only that it would be right.”

Produced by Alison’s brother, Alex Selman, much of the necessary pre-production took place at his home studio in rural Northland. The area is isolated; of the three neighbouring properties, only one is in walking distance. Revolver Studios, where recording finally took place, is equally remote. Unsurprisingly, ‘emptiness’ is very much a theme of the album. 

“These songs were written whilst holding on by a nail,” says Brendan, alluding to the death of band-mate and Best Man, Sam Prebble. The album was ultimately dedicated to, and titled for, the late musician. “He cast a long shadow.”

“There’s honesty in imperfection,” adds Alison. “Songs stripped to the bone and performed live with nothing to hide behind. Two voices, one guitar. That’s it.”  

In keeping with their sonic quest, the pair enlisted Mandy Parnell (Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, Bjork) at Black Saloon Studios in London for the mastering of the album. It was then pressed to audiophile grade, 180g vinyl at world-renowned pressing plant Pallas in Germany. While the couple is ultimately excited to share the performances in any format, they are eager to get back on the road - with plenty of Brendan & Alison Turner LPs in tow.

Ghost of a Friend is now available on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, with vinyl copies available from Flying Out record store and live shows.

Ghost of a Friend NZ Tour 2019 

Saturday March 30 - Flying Out Instore Performance

Saturday March 30 - Wine Cellar, Auckland

Sunday March 31 - Leigh Sawmill, Leigh (afternoon show)

Wednesday April 3 - 4th Wall Theatre, New Plymouth

Thursday April 4 – Moon 1, Wellington

Friday April 5 - Mad Cafe, Collingwood

Saturday April 6 - Dharma Bums Club, Wairau Valley Marlborough

Sunday April 7 - Music & Arts Centre, Hanmer Springs

Thursday April 11 - Gin & Raspberry, Wanaka

Friday April 12 - Sherwood, Queenstown

Saturday April 13 - Dog With Two Tails, Dunedin

Sunday April 14 - Blue Smoke, Christchurch

Wednesday April 17 - The Playhouse Theatre and Restaurant, Mapua

Thursday April 18 - St Peter's Hall, Paekakariki

Friday April 19 - Sitting Room Sessions, Haumoana

Saturday April 20 - Kumeu Live, Kumeu

Sunday April 21 - Piha Bowling Club

Thursday May 2 - Jam Factory, Tauranga

Friday May 3 - GBD, Thames