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SXSW 2013 band Ace Reporter, touring in support of their debut LP Yearling. The disc, which Snyder self-produced, features performances by drummer Aaron Steele and guitarist Chris Kuklis and was engineered and mixed by Chris Grainger (Wilco, Switchfoot).
A rooftop overlooking Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. A fleabag motel on the banks of the Susquehanna River. A bus winding through sleepy Chicago suburbs. A book-filled bedroom. A sculpture garden in Washington, D.C.
These are the memories that inhabit Ace Reporter’s debut LP Yearling. They are memories from a single year, one that musician Chris Snyder spent writing and recording one new song every day. In 2010, after the breakup of his longtime band The States, Snyder, a songwriter, composer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist based in Brooklyn, embarked on what he called the threesixfive project. Each day came with a mandate for the musician to start and finish a new track. From this burgeoning collection of songs, four EPs emerged, which Snyder – who began playing violin at age four and landed his first singing gig as the featured boy soprano on the soundtrack for The Crow – eventually transformed into a full-length album culled from the experiences and inspirations that propelled him through that year.
The songs range in style and tone, from the infectious pop-rock melody of “Untouched and Arrived” to the groove-driven keys of “Collected Works” to the lush violins of “If I See You Again.” The album has the effect of a kaleidoscope, where Snyder’s poetic lyricism and evocative imagery draw the songs together to create a collection that tells the story of a year, each song refracting a different memory of a time and place. The disc opens the door to what might come next for Ace Reporter as Snyder leaves behind the strictures of writing every day and allows the project to evolve into a touring band.
“Suddenly I was a musician without a mission after The States broke up,” Snyder recalls. “I wanted to do something extremely solitary, and overnight the threesixfive project was born. The record feels like an inside-out biography – and the threesixfive project even more so – which is why the lyrics tend to oscillate between diary-like and impressionistic. The songs are snapshots of slippery, fragile moments, which are gone as soon as they come.”