The Royal Arctic Institute, a five-piece Post-Rock Instrumental ensemble based in NYC/NJ, will be releasing a full-length album on 12” LP vinyl, Catnap to Coma to Catharsis. The collection compiles the material from their 2022 mini album From Catnap To Coma and its 2023 sequel, From Coma To Catharsis, along with a previously unreleased track, “New South Wales.”
All these performances were recorded and produced by James McNew (Yo La Tengo) in the Neumann Leather Factory in Hoboken, New Jersey. Catnap to Coma to Catharsis will be issued on August 4th, 2023 by Already Dead Records and Tapes.
At present, The Royal Arctic Institute comprises five musicians who have played extensively with other groups and / or as backing / session musicians: drummer Lyle Hysen (Das Damen, Arthur Lee, The Misguided), guitarists John Leon (Roky Erickson, Summer Wardrobe, Abra Moore) and Lynn Wright (And The Wiremen, Bee And Flower, Shilpa Ray), bassist David Motamed (Das Damen, Two Dollar Guitar, Arthur Lee, Townes Van Zandt), and keyboardist Carl Baggaley (Headbrain, Gramercy Arms).
All the pieces of music were created communally, “deconstructing then reconstructing material” mainly composed by guitarist John Leon, with a couple written by other band members. McNew recorded the band in a live setting with no digital magic and minimal overdubs except for pedal steel work by John Leon.
Leon and Hysen originally formed The Royal Arctic Institute in 2016 along with OG bassist Gerard Smith. This line-up recorded two albums before disbanding and subsequently reforming as a quintet in early 2020 at the outset of the pandemic.
The From Coma To Catharsis sessions were, sadly, guitarist Lynn Wright’s last work with the band as a full member as he’s recently relocated to Berlin to further his career in music. The band will continue to play shows and record with Wright when possible.