(Photo via colinstetson.com)
The contribution made by the session musicians who record on artist’s music is often overlooked, as often there is a general belief that these musicians are instructed how to perform their part by the band, and are paid simply to do so. However, this is definitely not the case for Colin Stetson, who has contributed to a wealth of fantastically successful and excellent musical ventures, including Bon Iver (of which he is now a nominal member of), Arcade Fire, Tom Waits and TV on the Radio.
However, Stetson is not simply a session musician for other artists, but he has also released eight solo albums, the latest of which, New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light was released in April of this year via Constellation Records. Stetson manages to inject music which may otherwise be viewed as devoid of any emotional undertones with a visceral fervour, which is often due to his fantastically unorthodox approach to playing the bass saxophone. In listening to New History Warfare Vol. 3 it is plainly obvious how monumental Stetson’s contribution to his other works is, especially in the production of Bon Iver’s 2011 stunningly emotional sophomore album Bon Iver, Bon Iver.
Last week, Stetson posted a video to accompany ‘Who The Waves Are Roaring For’, which is taken from New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light and features the soaring falsetto vocals of Stetson’s Bon Iver bandmate Justin Vernon. The video was directed by Isaac Gale, who has also created videos for Bon Iver (he contributed to the direction of the video version of Bon Iver, Bon Iver), Poliça and GAYNGS amongst others.