Eszter Balint will be releasing her new album 'Airless Midnight' on June 24 2015. It was recorded in late 2014 and early 2015 in New York's Brooklyn Recording and Richmond's Montrose Recording, produced by JD Foster, and features Chris Cochrane, Marc Ribot, Dave Schramm on guitar as well as well as singer songwriter Sam Phillips on harmonies.
Eszter has been very busy for the past few years. In 2014 she was making progress gathering material for the new album when out of the blue-after a long hiatus from acting she was offered a part she couldn't refuse. She agreed to star in a six-episode arc of Louis C.K.'s F/X series Louie, Season 4, a performance which would earn her considerable critical praise. Eszter also improvised compositions, sang and played violin for the episodes which featured her performance. As soon as filming wrapped, Eszter returned to work on her album.
The album boasts three of New York's most distinguished and original guitarists: Chris Cochrane (John Zorn, Zena Parkins, long time EB alumni) Dave Schramm (The Schramms, Yo La Tengo, others) and Marc Ribot (too many to name!). They are joined by drummer Brian Wilson (Johnny Dowd, Neko Case), JD Foster on bass, and Sam Phillips on vocal harmonies. Andy Taub and Don Piper engineered at Brooklyn Recording, and Adrian Olsen mixed with JD and Eszter at Montrose Recording. This is Eszter's third album working with Cochrane, producer Foster, and engineer Taub, and her second with Ribot, with whom she has also worked on a number of other projects over the years. Eszter is featured on vocals, guitar, violin, melodica, mandolin, random sounds, whistling, and she wrote all the songs.
After releasing her second album Mud in 2004 on Bar/None, Eszter took a break and focused on parenting. Once her son started attending school, she began writing again. After a number of years spent writing and polishing these songs, doing studio sessions with other artists and resuming live performance, Balint felt she had a body of work worth capturing in the studio.
Eszter relates, "The songs were ripening. They were just at that point where they were starting to feel like they needed to be picked. And my desire to record was starting to burn me up. Not all of the tunes were completed when I decided to make a record, but the ones which were, it felt like they were going to be neglected in an unkind way if they didn't get recorded very soon."
What resulted is Balint's most confident effort to date. The lyrics are cohesive and support strong, if mysterious, narratives with a decisive cinematic feel. The accompanying tunes are varied and strategically eclectic in approach. There's more rock and punk influence here, which gives way to an eerie, calm spaciousness. These songs are artful, sophisticated yet earthy, there's guts and grit and beauty too; it's an eloquent expression of her life experiences to date.