Map Is Not the Territory
The music of Hurricane Chaser feels like the experience of déjà vu...new yet strangely familiar. This feeling is given voice in "Racing a River", the opening track off their 2009 debut, The Map Is Not The Territory, "I've seen this place before / standing at the intersection / of a dream and a memory". It is this crossroads between dream and memory that pervades much of Brad Zeffren's writing on this record, with many lines evoking the sentiment that a memory, though constantly shifting, is the only thing a person can ever really own. Tied to this idea is the notion that in our pursuits, we miss what we're really looking for, lost in the conflict between ambition and happiness. The idea is best summed up in "Barricades" "I never can surrender from the chase / So I'm running down tomorrow / while today just passed me by" Hurricane Chaser frames these lyrical ideas with music that is equal parts hypnotic and rustic. The songs are firmly grounded in the rich tradition of Americana that includes The Band, Neil Young and Townes Van Zandt, but when voiced by the members of the band they take on the more rhythmic elements of old-school latin and soul music, and then get a healthy dose of rock guitar. Current musical contemporaries include Calexico, My Morning Jacket, Wilco, Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter, and Ryan Adams and the Cardinals. The Map Is Not The Territory was produced by Brad Zeffren (Star Anna, Kristen Ward, Nathan Wade), and marked the first time the Seattle area producer stepped out from behind the board to get in front of a mic. One of the last albums to be recorded before the closing of Seattle's beloved Chroma Sound, which Zeffren was a co-founder of, there was an urgency to the sessions that can be felt in the tracks. "I knew the clock was ticking, and that this record had to be done at Chroma, so we just put our heads down and dug in."