February 8th, 2008: As seen on Archive (PDF)

Who? New York-based composer, singer, producer, and songwriter Max Avery Lichtenstein got his start punctuating emotions on indie film scores immersed in tales of schizophrenic mothers (Tarnation), heroin addicts (Jesus’ Son) and incest (The King). Dubbing his new project Camphor, long-player Drawn to Dust, out via the Friendly Fire label April 1, is his first step into traditional album land.

What’s the Deal? The lush melodies of Drawn to Dust explores Wabi-sabi, a Japanese idea rooted in finding beauty and grace in the world’s most ugly details. To channel all this greatness, Lichtenstein has recruited some of indie rock’s finest multi-instrumentalists — Gretta Cohn (Cursive, Bright Eyes), D. James Goodwin (Sol Seppy), Ryan Smith (A Million Billion) and Kevin Thaxton (The Silent League) — to gracefully flesh out these 13 take-me-as-I-am tales. From the rich organ-led folk number “Mistakes” to slinky snare-shuffler “So Lucky,” Lichtenstein’s pipes shine like a beacon of bedroom four-track purity. Additional outliers like the bold flamenco guitars of “Castaway” and the bright mandolin pop of “Confidence Shattered” also tap into Lichtenstein’s subdued magic à la Beck’s Sea Change.

Fun Fact: Lichtenstein is a trained trapeze artist. He tells, “I figure the circus would make a fine career if my musical inspiration ever dries up.”

Now Hear This:
Camphor – “The Sweetest Tooth” DOWNLOAD MP3

On the Web:
Camphor at MySpace