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Good Medicine

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Anybody familiar with the codeine-laced, slo-core noise of Medicine should recognize the name Brad Laner. His first solo album, Neighbor Singing, is coming out Nov. 6 on the Hometapes label, one of the best indies around.


Media types were given access to the wistful new track "June Gloom," and it somehow manages to marry Beach Boys' California pop with the spacey, effects-laden mayhem of My Bloody Valentine and the lush, electronic, bedroom-recording intimacy of much of the Hometapes roster.

Produced by Laner (photo at right by Ye Rin Mok) and Thom Monahan (Lavender Diamond, Brightblack Morning Light), Neighbor Singing should help people forget that Laner once was shanghi-ed into playing bass for the Captain and Tennille in the '70s. There's a clip on YouTube, much to Laner's chagrin. At the time, Laner was playing in punk bands like Debt of Nature, and in the '80s, he played drums for Savage Republic, before forming Medicine in the early '90s and signing to Rick Rubin's Def American label.

In 1995, Laner got together with members of Tool, The Replicants and Failure to make Lusk, and the band released one album and quickly disbanded. Later, he resurfaced with Electric Company, a project that was more of an electronic affair than his previous output. Incredibly prolific, he released 10 albums under that name in ten years.

In a recent press release, Laner said of his latest effort, "I wanted to shamelessly utilize all of the different skills that I've built up over a lifetime of musical experiences. It's not a reflection of my record collection but rather the first examples of a new approach to pop music that feels to me to be almost biologically my own."

Having already seen the world and its rich pageant, Laner is now ensconced in domestic bliss, living in his self-restored 1964 Joseph Eichler home near Los Angeles. Music still holds an allure for Brad, who began working long distance with the likes of Brian Eno, Vetiver, and Caribou a while back. After a rare live show in 2005 at Arthur Fest in L.A., he and Monahan drew up the blueprints for what would become Neighbor Singing.

"This record was made in a 'catch as catch can' sort of situation in that nowadays I'm constantly balancing between raising my son and finding the time to be a properly self-indulgent artiste," writes Brad. "I think this dual reality kept me from traveling too far up my own ass and allowed for a (slightly) more objective perspective — i.e. lots of time to step away from it and lose the muscle memory of putting down the individual parts."

Get your Neighbor Singing track list here.

1. Find Out
2. Out Cold
3. Lovely World
4. Vecino
5. Arlie
6. Alambres
7. June Gloom
8. April Bossa
9. Sure
10. Falling TIme
11. From Inside
12. Circumscribe

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