The Prince Albert, Brighton
For the last five years, Los Angeles-based musician Noah Weinman has been Runnner, and for much of those five years, Runnner has been working. Working on his 2021 collection album, Always Repeating; working as a producer on the Skullcrusher records; and, of course, working towards his debut full-length, Like Dying Stars, We’re Reaching Out. From LA to Ohio and the Northeast and back, he’s been deep in the craft of sound. This is music made at home, using anything and everything: cell phones and handheld tape recorders, the hum of an a/c unit, voicemails from friends. Rubbing cardboard together, stretching acoustic sounds out to near liquid, or stacking delay pedals at random to scramble the smoothness of a song can make something known into something unknown–something ordinary into something cosmic. These are songs where the edges have been left deliberately rough because perfection invites predictability, and imperfection imbalances, and those imbalances ask the listener to listen again, and again. And in that listening, the sound can become earnest, can ask a question, can hold a conversation.
“I was sifting through my demos trying to decide what songs would go on the album, and I sort of started to notice this theme about the limits of language,” explains Weinman. “You’re trying to articulate something to someone, and it either doesn’t come out right or you end up not saying anything at all. It’s a pattern I see in my life, just having a hard time expressing myself to the people I’m close with.” So it’s no surprise that from a young age, Noah was drawn to other modes of expression: first studying trumpet and jazz, then falling into guitars, banjo, pianos and synths, and along with them discovering a love for stitching together songs and recordings. “It wasn’t until I got out of the studio environment and started recording at home that it became something I really love doing,” he says.
Yazmin Lacey didn’t exactly elbow her way into a career as a singer of smoky, soulful jazz music; she had to be enticed. Growing up in a musical family in east London, she had a strong singing voice but never felt inclined to show it off. Shortly after moving to Nottingham, she let her guard down. “I’d had a lot to drink,” she laughs. “Someone persuaded me to sing. Then this girl came over and said, ‘Oh my gosh, I run this acoustic night, do you want to perform?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, take my number.’