Gabriel Kahane Set to Release 'The Ambassador' 6/3 via Sony Music
Ten songs for ten buildings in Los Angeles.
From Die Hard to the architecture of Richard Neutra and R.M. Schindler, from Blade Runner to the fiction of James M. Cain and Raymond Chandler, and from fires, riots, and earthquakes to the lives of so many Americans who have looked to Southern California as a panacea, Gabriel Kahane's The Ambassador (Masterworks) draws its inspiration from a multitude of sources to tell intimate, human stories against the backdrop of Los Angeles architecture and popular culture.
The album was co-produced by Kahane and long-time collaborators Casey Foubert (Sufjan Stevens), Matt Johnson (St. Vincent), and Rob Moose (Bon Iver), each of whom appeared on Gabriel's previous LP, the critically acclaimed Where are the Arms. Additionally, The Ambassador features guest vocal appearances by Shara Worden, Aoife O'Donovan, and Holcombe Waller. The Ambassador is available everywhere on June 3, 2014.
Kahane was born in Los Angeles but raised on the East Coast and in Northern California. He writes, "Starting in my late teens I began to spend more time in LA. I found myself chasing its soul- its aspiration, its spirit, its sadness- and wanted to express that. I've always had a preoccupation with buildings, and the relationships we form with them. So for this album, I made a list of street addresses that were interesting to me, and then began to explore different narrative approaches for each one: on the title track, I sing from the perspective of a doorman at the now-demolished Ambassador Hotel; in another, I take on the persona of James M. Cain's iconic protagonist, Mildred Pierce. On 'Empire Liquor Mart,' I sing from the perspective of Latasha Harlins, a fifteen-year-old African-American girl shot to death in 1991, one year before the LA Riots. It is my hope that in this array of voices, something new about Los Angeles is expressed."