Late last fall Tim Kasher went north for the winter after nearly a year of touring in support of Cursive’s 2009 release Mama, I’m Swollen. Leaving sunny Los Angeles, it was in the frosty valley of Whitefish, MT – nestled next to Big Mountain and Glacier National Park – that he set about writing and recording his debut solo album, The Game Of Monogamy.
The album’s classical opening and its closing begin with an uneasy refrain of plucked notes on a harp, setting the tone for The Game Of Monogamy. The theatrical arrangements and lush instrumentation of the album’s moody orchestral pop evoke a 1950s, pre-sexual revolution atmosphere, and set the stage for a dilemma that remains thoroughly modern. The protagonist’s arc in The Game of Monogamy spans the wide range of distinctly human emotions tangled up around relationships in a starched shirt society. Call it the score for our collective sexual plight: expression routinely becomes repression in the name of romance. Kasher’s vision is as keen as ever, unapologetically honest, unflinching, and self-reflective.
Recorded during January at SnowGhost Music as well as his Whitefish rental home, The Game Of Monogamy marks the first time Kasher has written, recorded, and produced an album under his own name. Venturing independent, he fully took on the writing process and the result is more of an arranged record than his past releases. A tribute to his artistic drive and creative freedom, the album neither borrows from nor begs comparison to his two bands, Cursive and The Good Life, and all are grounded in the singular voice and perspective of his writing. Kasher enlisted Patrick Newbery (trumpet/keys for Cursive; also of Lacona and Head of Femur) to help with the arrangements and the production, and to play on the record. Minus The Bear’s Erin Tate and Cursive’s Matt Maginn also play some drums and bass, respectively. Members of the Glacier National Symphony were recruited for the classical instrument parts, which include strings, harp, oboe, flute, and trombone.
Renowned for his literate, lyrical, and thematic songwriting, Kasher’s albums with Cursive and The Good Life have been praised by key press, including Rolling Stone, Esquire, The New York Times, Alternative Press, Spin, and Entertainment Weekly, among many others. He made his network television debut with Cursive on The Late Show with David Letterman in March 2009, performing “From The Hips” off Mama, I’m Swollen. Kasher has been an acclaimed force in music for the better part of the past two decades. And, with his bands, he has released ten albums since 1997.