Garrett Gleason has been dropping banger after banger for what feels like years now, each release with its own style while showing off his unique handle on loops – and utterly disintegrating them.
So today, we are stoked to premier the latest of these psychedelically charged fantasies, this time featuring Will Wadsorth.
Both Gleason and Wadsworth were both in a trio called Cartoon Weapons, and even though we’re sure their established musical rapport made the process easier, it blows our minds that there are no overdubs on the record. Yep. All of these layers you hear, that’s improv, baby. And it’s really, really, good.
Get your exclusive early taste of Good Needle below, officially releasing this upcoming May 20th.
“Parker” opens things up like a pop melody composed by pure etheric light, crackling with unexpected shifts and swoops. As it slides into “Those Stuttering Skies,” you might find yourself wondering how it was composed.
And that’s the best part – apparently it wasn’t. Like we said, this a literal improv session from years ago. But don’t take it from us, get the word from Garret himself below on the process behind the record:
“Garrett Gleason and Will Wadsworth first met in college and played improvised duet shows under the name Gentle Men. They then formed a trio in 2013 with Zack Be called Cartoon Weapons, and they were fortunate enough to open for acts like TTNG, LITE, and Giraffes? Giraffes! when the acts came through DC or Baltimore. When Cartoon Weapons disbanded in 2017, Wadsworth and Gleason met in Wadsworth’s home to record the guitar and drums for what would eventually become “Good Needle.” Gleason then edited the recording and incorporated programmed arrangements on a tour bus and in hotel rooms throughout Austria and Italy in July 2018 while he was on tour playing guitar with a traveling children’s choir.
The album was released in January 2019 independently on bandcamp and promoted through a weekend of improvised duet shows in Washington, D.C. In 2023, the tracks were revisited with improved mixing tools and a reimagined album art by Kent Archer to be released on all digital platforms.“
If you didn’t know, Kent Archer actually did artwork for Sonic the Hedgehog, whose hyper-animated futuristic cityscapes and speed courses are a perfect match for Garrett and Will’s offering.
At the end, we were surprised that the songs all naturally felt like a prelude to the titular closing track. “Good Needle / Orange Glow” dials up the intensity with crushing moments of fuzz and furious drumming. All in all, Good Needle is an enthralling prelude that deserves to see the light of day in a new context. The new and improved mix and artwork help it all feel fresh, but no matter when it came from, Good Needle touches a timelessness and magic rarely reached in improvisational music.
100% go get the album in Bandcamp here, and then check out everything else these guys have been a part of. Garrett’s style is reminiscent of Robert Fripp and Ian Williams but with a flavor all its own. If you’re loaded, buy us a coffee here, but more importantly buy yourself one first, you rock, you little nugget, you. We’ve got so much coming at you over the next couple weeks, we’re really excited. So excited, we’re not even gonna explain ourselves. Enjoy the weekend, and thanks for reading!