It’s been a long time between drinks for Spiral Stairs – aka Scott Kannberg – the founding member of seminal ‘90s indie rock legends Pavement, whose brand new solo album Doris & The Daggers is his first new batch of music in over seven years.
During that time he participated in the vaunted 2010 Pavement world reunion tour and then spent a few years residing in Queensland, Australia having married an Aussie girl, before eventually relocating to the Northern Hemisphere to conduct work on the new project. And while the sonically lush Doris & The Daggers is an intensely personal listen – covering topics such as the loss of close friends and the wonders of starting a family – this time spent in Australia shines through on the album, whether indirectly in inflections of bands such as The Go-Betweens or more overtly such as in Melbourne paean Trams (Stole My Love).
And the limited edition Australian version of Doris & The Daggers – which comes out on March 24 through Brisbane indie Coolin’ By Sound – has even more of an Aussie flavour, arriving on St Kilda coloured vinyl (the AFL team Spiral has followed for years through good times and bad) and containing a bonus seven-inch single containing two songs written about his time spent in Australia’s Deep North, Pig City and Vultures Of Caboolture.
Some high profile friends helped put the album together – Matt Berninger (The National) and Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene) provide backing vocals and his good friend Kelley Stoltz aided with arrangements and added some guitar parts – but it’s that idiosyncratic Spiral Stairs worldview which shines through.
It’s a worldly and well-overdue return from one of indie rock’s shining lights, welcome Spiral Stairs back into your life with open arms as you embrace Doris & The Daggers.
What critics have said about Doris and the Daggers:
“It’s rare that you put on a record and it already feels like a classic.” Hit ****1/2
“…following 2009’s The Real Feel, Kannberg relocated to Brisbane and the Antipodean air clearly infused his work with a fresh perspective… it’s been a long journey, but Spiral Stairs has finally found his voice.” Mojo ****
“Backed by members of The National, Broken Social Scene, Oranger, and singer/songwriter Kelley Stoltz, the album patiently navigates middle age’s ups and downs, setting aside sprawl and fantasia aside to focus on succinctness and autobiography.” Pitchfork
Doris & The Daggers out through Coolin’ By Sound on March 24, 2017.