In between running scales and arpeggios on his trumpet, Ari Herstand pauses and remembers to change his acoustic guitar strings and then proceeds with vocal warm ups reminiscent of high school choir class. This normal pre show routine seems odd for a touring rock musician, but his live show is anything but ordinary.
Herstand has been best known for his solo, live looping abilities: melding the guitar, keyboard, trumpet, harmonica, vocals and beat boxing seamlessly – to create a unique, full band sound. From touring coast-to-coast and playing renowned festivals like Milwaukee's Summerfest and Austin's South by Sounthwest Music Festival, Herstand has honed his show and has created an unforgettable live experience.
Ari Herstand, who has opened for artists such as Ben Folds, Cake, Matt Nathanson, Sister Hazel, Soul Asylum, The Bodeans and Joshua Radin, took an extended break from the road to record his new studio album Whispering Endearments. This release focuses less on the novelty of his live show and more on the comprehensive complexities of the songs. Herstand says, "I love playing live, but alone on stage I can't do the songs complete justice. This album finally brings the songs to their full potential and I can't be more proud of what we created."
Whispering Endearments displays an incredible maturation from his first two releases. Spending nearly 6 months creating the new album, working with an investor instead of a record label and no time frame, Herstand created the record completely void of time, money and industry constraints. Meticulously working to find the perfect guitar and drum tones, arranging and rearranging instrumentations and challenging himself vocally, Herstand along with producer Chris Kalgren (front man of This World Fair) and Grammy nominated engineer Paul Marino, worked until excellence was achieved.
All songs on Whispering Endearments, written by Herstand, bring a sincere and honest glance into the 23-year-old's life. The songs have an incredible dynamic range and are anything but monotonous – something that plagues many singer/songwriter albums. The lyrics, imagistic yet intimate, are far from cliché and invite the listener in effortlessly until he/she is lost in the colorful scenes and stories of each song. As the collection of songs flow in and out of one another to create a cohesive and complete piece of art, each song stands alone and apart as a complete work in itself.
Whispering Endearments, opens with a metaphorical, lost love "bell" anthem, which aptly sets the tone for the rest of the joyously bittersweet album. The first single released off of Whispering Endearments, "Last Day," deals with a carpe diem mantra – while keeping it inquisitively personal: "If you knew this was our last kiss how would your lips move."
The rock and roll guitar appearance of Joe Christenson (White Light Riot) on "Rose Stained Red" and the jazz/funk, sax solo by Jason Parvey (Roster McCabe) on "Center of a Kiss" propel the momentum built by first three songs, while the tender, closing numbers gently release the listener from Whispering Endearments.
Whispering Endearments was recorded at Pachyderm Studios in Cannon Falls, Minnesota and was mastered by Greg Calbi (John Mayer, Norah Jones, Paul Simon) at Sterling Sound in New York.