"I guess Newton was right. Every action truly has an equal and opposite reaction." So says Gagner when discussing the follow up to his previous LP, the lush, life-affirming Rise & Shine, which was largely inspired by the birth of his daughter. His new LP Pins & Needles, is a darker, more rocking affair, wherein characters deal with addiction, seperation, and mortality. "Yeah, I guess the honeymoon period is over. It was time to put on my 'big boy pants' and face the darker side. Doing so within a melodic pop song will probably never get old for me, especially when mixed with a little humor. There's a great tradition of songwriters blending the sweet and the sour — Alex Chilton, Warren Zevon, Lennon." Pins & Needles was recorded live to 2" analog tape at San Francisco’s Decibelle Recording by JJ Wiesler (Vic Chesnutt, Girls) and features such power-pop royalty as Pete Thomas (of Elvis Costello's The Attractions, Ron Sexsmith, Matthew Sweet), and Ken Stringfellow (The Posies, Big Star, R.E.M.). The album closes with a stunning re-imagining of "America the Beautiful," which Gagner says was "...originally recorded for my grandmother’s funeral, per her wishes, but took on a new and more weighty relevance after the 2016 election." Pins & Needles is recommended for fans of Wilco, The Shins, and Aimee Mann.
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"Gagner’s soulful vocals are alive, resonating from the emotional foundation that grounds these dozen gems. "Rise & Shine" is nothing short of a masterpiece, as affecting a collection of songs as you’re likely to hear all year." –Alan Haber, Pure Pop Radio
"The guy is a seriously good songwriter." –Tim Hinely, DaggerZine
"More hooks than Roland Martin's tackle box." –The College Crowd Digs Me
"Keep your eye on Scott — his potential is limitless. Flawless musicianship and melody.” –Powerpopaholic
"Gagner stands a cut above the rest thanks to an abundance of clever songwriting." –Bill Sullivan, Now This Rocks
“Lies in the DMZ between baroque balladry and adrenal power pop. Luscious arrangements and soulful vocals make this pure ear candy.” –The Lightning Round
Originally from Minnesota, Scott began his musical career as a drummer soaking up local favorites Hüsker Dü, The Replacements, and The Jayhawks. He moved to San Francisco, traded his drum sticks for an acoustic guitar, and began writing. From the start, his songs were rhythmically sophisticated and melodically mature, with hooks both surprising and inevitable. An obsession with home recording quickly developed, and he soon found himself spending every night hunched over a cheap four-track cassette recorder. Several years and several hundred songs later, Gagner was ready to polish the best tracks for his acclaimed, genre-hopping debut Rhapsody in Blonde. His second LP, Rise & Shine was at once more sonically focused and ambitious, swimming in lush layers of vibraphone, strings, and horns. His new LP, Pins & Needles strives to "find the perfect balance between dark and light."
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