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The follow up to their 2018 self-titled LP, Living Theatre conjures moments of stark minimalism and cinematic maximalism, most potent for Shaffer and Butler’s lyrical intimacy and vivid arrangements. The title was inspired by the experimental thespian movement in New York of the same name, in which actors broke from tradition by creating an experience of communal expression. Their songwriting palette takes cues from influences as disparate as avant garde punk, psychedelic folk, and experimental electronic music. Inspired by both freedom and restriction in their creative practice, the pair set to record the album in a constrained period of 3 months after spending a year on the road touring without a home base. They wrote all summer, in a space with no windows, molding private conversations into more expansive works that address concepts of home, spirituality, and ancestry in a contemporary landscape.
The album was conceived alongside percussionist Booker Stardrum and co-producer Jarvis Taveniere (Woods) in collaboration with Eliza Bagg, Frank Maston, Peter Wagner and Benjamin Levinson. It was recorded at Comp-NY in Los Angeles by Jarvis Taveniere with additional help from Vishal Nayak at The Black Lodge in New York City.