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Composer Joe Wong Announces Debut Album NITE CREATURES

Composer Joe Wong Announces Debut Album NITE CREATURES

Los Angeles based multi-instrumentalist, podcast host (The Trap Set) and composer Joe Wong ("Master of None", "Russian Doll", "The Midnight Gospel", "Ugly Delicious", "Awkwafina is Nora From Queens" and more...) has just announced Nite Creatures, his full-length solo debut, due out May 15, 2020 via a newly signed deal with Decca Records. Nite Creatures is a collection of 10 baroque, ruminative, songs that evoke the psychedelic heyday of the legendary UK-based Decca label, living in the pops and crackles between the Summer of Love and the start of the Seventies - the acid-tinged era of Scott Walker, Marianne Faithfull, Love, the Zombies and Fairport Convention. To mark the release of Nite Creatures, Wong will take his kaleidoscopic show on the road with stops at Lodge Room in Los Angeles, Neumos in Seattle, Le Poisson Rouge in New York, World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, Lincoln Hall in Chicago and more. All tour dates are listed below.

Nite Creatures was produced by Mary Timony (Ex Hex, Helium) who also plays guitar on the album. Most of the songs on Nite Creatures feature a core ensemble: Wong on vocals, drums, bass, guitar and keyboards; Timony on lead guitar and backing vocals; and harpist Mary Lattimore, who recently garnered an avalanche of critical acclaim for the spectral minimalism of her 2018 solo album, Hundreds of Days. The basic tracks were recorded at the secluded Gatos Trail Recording Studio in Joshua Tree, California.

Guests on Nite Creatures include War on Drugs multi-instrumentalist Jon Natchez, who plays flute on three tracks; Craig Wedren (Shudder to Think) and Anna Waronker (That Dog), who provide some backing vocals assistance. Flaming Lips multi-instrumentalist Steven Drozd supplies guitar and a second drum track on the shimmering, cosmic psych-rock headphone headtrip "In the Morning." In addition, Wong tracked a 16-member string section, featuring members of the L.A. Philharmonic and the London Symphony Orchestra, at Hollywood's Jim Henson Studios, in the famed Studio A - the same room Quincy Jones recorded "We Are the World." The album was mixed by famed, depth-scouring Flaming Lips producer Dave Fridmann.

The lush, deeply personal album marks the first time the Milwaukee-born musician's total and unfiltered creative vision has been on display, a bold exploration of life and loss abetted by a 24-piece orchestra. The album's luxurious melodies accompany Wong's deeply personal lyrics, written in the years between his father suffering a stroke in 2010 and his death in 2019. The result is an album that - in the cinematic detail of one of Wong's film scores - explores the intersection of melancholy and joyful surrender.

"It's basically about losing someone slowly," says Wong. "It has a lot to do with losing elements of his personality, piece by piece. The album's about loss, but it's about coming to terms with it and not being afraid of it. The final loss was a relief and lots of it is kind of like my way of telling him it's OK to go."

Though technically his first LP, Wong's melodies, beats and insight have already conquered multiple platforms. While launching his fruitful career as one of the go-to composers of the streaming TV era, he was the drummer anchoring the Mary Timony Band, Marnie Stern, and Brooklyn noise-punks Parts & Labor. As an esteemed podcaster, he created the world's most popular drumming podcast, The Trap Set (featuring Phil Collins, Stewart Copeland, Chad Smith, Bernard Purdie, Clyde Stubblefield, Sheila E., and many more). Wong is quick to note that his career as a film composer, accompanist and interviewer prepared him for his solo bid.

"Watching Natasha [Lyonne] make Russian Doll helped me while I was doing this," says Wong, who recorded Nite Creatures in between creating music for the critically adored Netflix series. "She'd been an actor in a bunch of shows before and hadn't really made her own statement yet. I was observing her go through all the same things that I was going through. ... And by working through my neuroses with my drum heroes [on the Trap Set], it made me realize that's what you're supposed to do. You're supposed to just keep pushing forward. Go into the deep end."

Nite Creatures is the next step in Wong's career, which is highlighted by more than 15 years composing for film and TV. His long, varied, genre-hopping résumé includes Netflix smashes (Natasha Lyonne's Russian Doll, Aziz Ansari's Master of None), a beloved YA rom-com (To All the Boys I've Loved Before), hotly-anticipated metaphysical psychedelia (The Midnight Gospel), quirky Adult Swim late-night shows (Superjail!, Ballmastrz: 9009), foodie reality shows (David Chang's Ugly Delicious) and Sundance Jury Prize-winning drama (The Pool).

Joe Wong Tour Dates:

May 20 - Los Angeles, CA @ Lodge Room

May 22 - San Francisco, CA @ The Independent

May 23 - Portland, OR @ Revolution Hall

May 24 - Seattle, WA @ Neumos

May 26 - Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live

May 28 - New York, NY @ Le Poisson Rouge

May 30 - Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall

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