(Make Me a) TRISTE© Mixtape Episode 28: Cheval Sombre

Cheval Sombre (credit: Joakim Bengtsson)

New York singer/songwriter Chris Porpora, aka Cheval Sombre emerged in the mid-2000s with his love for ’60s psychedelia, hypnotic space rock and folk balladry. Working closely with Spacemen 3’s Sonic Boom as well as Luna’s Dean Wareham, Cheval Sombre gained a cult following with his eponymous 2009 debut and 2012 follow-up, Mad Love. Since then he realized a record of outlaw country standards with Dan Wareham and now, 9 years after his second solo record, Cheval Sombre releases not one but two records: Time Waits For No One and Days Go By, both on the great label Sonic Cathedral.

What Chris says: Days Go By  is the companion lp to Time Waits for No One. It has taken us nine years since Mad Love to get here, and it has been a journey. Recorded between Brooklyn & Portugal over these years, we’ve looked after each detail meticulously. Both records contain an instrumental, a blues, & a cover to finish. The sleeves were created by Irish artist Craig Carry, who brought a symmetrical elegance to these records about the passage of time. Experience & innocence, darkness & light — we hope to have covered all in between, too. May these records bring sanctuary all your ways, all your days.

His Mixtape: “This is a-song-a-day Twitter mix leading up to release of lp, Days Go By, out 28 May 2021″.

Townes Van Zandt – No Place To Fall

Townes Van Zandt speaks to me – his depiction of time as a train [“Time, she’s a fast old train/She’s here then she’s gone”] is eloquent, precise…

Joanna Brouk – The Space Between

Take some time out and feel the bliss of Joanna Brouk’s ‘The Space Between’. Powerful, gentle medicine.

Spacemen 3 – An Evening of Contemporary Sitar Music – Dreamweapon

What is the purpose of music? The greatest music helps us to forget ourselves, and takes us to a place free from worry, scrutiny & pain. Sonic Boom’s been giving us this for ages. What a gift.

Talk Talk – I Believe In You

“I Believe in You” got me through an incredibly difficult time. Gorgeous, plaintive, marvellous.

Gráinne Yeats – Oscail An Doras

Gráinne Yeats’ harp playing here reminds of the magic in each moment, too often obscured.

The Jesus & Mary Chain – On The Wall

I picked up “Barbed Wire Kisses” on cassette when I was a kid and had never before felt more connected to a sound. Period.

A Guy Called Gerald – Voodoo Ray

Many of my records have been recorded with my dear friend Darshan Jesrani. We were mesmerized by “Voodoo Ray” when it first came out. Still sounds essential today.

Nikki Sudden & The Jacobites – Kissed You Twice

Back in 2006 on the first day of recording for the diamond album, I was hoping to get from the studio to The Knitting Factory to see Nikki Sudden play that night, but couldn’t make it in time, & he passed away after the gig. What an absolute beauty.

Willie Dunn – I Pity The Country

Willie Dunn reminds us of the power of the voice & guitar — warding off those who try & keep us away from “the roundness of the light.”

Brigid Mae Power – Wedding Of A Friend

Thanks to Craig Carry who did the beautiful sleeves for both lps this year. We would trade a song a day while working, such as this gem by Brigid Mae Power. Alasdair Roberts co-produced this, and we’ve got a cover of his “The Calfless Cow” on the new lp.

Robyn Hitchcock -Chinese Water Python

How about some loveliness from Robyn Hitchcock to ease into things?

Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares – Mir Stanke Le

Haunting, beautiful. This track has always stirred me, and I expect it always will.

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss – Polly Come Home

Otherworldly, majestic sounds.

The Rolling Stones – Before They Make Me Run

Thanks to Sonic Cathedral for all they do. Folks ask why did it take nine years to do a follow-up to “Mad Love”? — good things take time. Walk, don’t run.

Both “Time Waits For No One” and “Days Go By” are out now on Sonic Cathedral.
Look HERE for more information on Cheval Sombre.

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