Heard singing with The Fresh & Onlys and part of San Francisco's vocal institution of The Sandwitches; Pruno Truman, a solo alias of Heidi Alexander, premieres a listen to the folk and smoke song of, “I Want More Of You”. Recorded by Doug Hillsinger, the opening and closing coasts in like the sleepy blankets of fog that contain the sound of seagulls flying inside and outside of the perennial mist. Available on the limited edition Empty Cellar AMIGOS cassette, Mike Donovan of Sic Alps also handles recording duties with an appearance from James Finch Jr., as Heidi has released this tape in tandem with the Pruno Truman, Drunk With Friends cassette available through Southpaw. And here on “More of You', listen in as the endless days turn to endless nights, where lost sentiments from separations of drifting far apart are brought closer together in a slow waltz that hangs on to every sung note, every word, and soft struck chord cadence.
The song brings that flicker of vacuum tube light to the memory cluttered space of a dark room in a nineteenth century Victorian flat. Bookended with the soundtracks heard by the docked wooden ships along piers; “long nights and long days” bring feelings and thoughts held tight during the extended time in absentia where strange days bring about the vague familiarities through seas and streets of strange faces. The reverb touches and soft string arrangements stir the definitive flagship revered Americana sound of San Francisco, where Heidi moves the sleepy sung narrative of natures across vistas of beautiful coasts to the home bound, love-longing images of, “my love sits with the white birds of Paradise”. As the slow dance comes to a close, those seagulls heard in the beginning return again in flight like the cries of an albatross spanning their wings across the sky as a sign of reassurance brought from the birds of the Bay.
In an exchange of long distance cable, we talked to Pruno 'Heidi Alexander' Truman about recording with Doug Hillsinger, the latest past times spent with collaborator Carletta Sue Kay, the craft and importance of creative chemistries, and much more discussed live from a Swiss Chateau looking over Mont Blanc.
In a world of so many noises, how do you account and make the slow, vast sound rooms like on “I Want More Of You”?
I suppose the song came from a sense of a feeling that I came to understand very slowly, so maybe that accounts for the pace. And not to sound pretentious, but really the heart of the content is intended to be a bit unbounded. It's very much has to do with freedom of movement and the expansion of love and space, so. I don't know. Also Hilsinger wasn't shy with the reverb…Truth is we were is a very tiny room, completely full of Dougy's special stuff, but we did have the back door open so…
Your voice travels in that way like the train way vibrations heard reverberating in the track long after the train has passed in the present. What kind of warm up exercises do you do?
I try to stay sleepy. But seriously, the only warm up exercise I know for singing is singing, and I try not to smoke too much.
What antics have you and Carletta Sue Kay been up to?
Fruit toss, double dutch, you name it.
What are some of the key things any artist need in an ideal partner, either for vocals, or any kind of instrumental collaboration?
I'd say most important is that you enjoy each other's company and enjoy being together working. I don't mean by that that everything is pleasant. I've had really painful working relationships full of anxiety and aggression that I would still deem “pleasurable” because the result -be it in growth or in output or whatever – manages to outweigh the discomfort of the process. If the final feeling is one of satisfaction or advance or something, that's a good thing. You have to find someway to communicate. If you don't respect the others take on things, or they can't appreciate yours, be it in the moment or in hindsight, there's no point in working together.
What does Hedi Alexander what more of, or out of in life, or from other musicians and their sounds?
I have to say I'm actually pretty satisfied right now. Maybe that's because I'm in a Swiss Chateau looking at Mont Blanc, drinking apple juice in a light breeze waiting on fresh pizza and Les Prédateurs but…as always…more feeling. And more free time for my Mom to do her 'thing'.
The Pruno Truman limited AMIGOS EP cassette is a solo release from Heidi Alexander released on Empty Cellar Records, released in conjunction with Pruno Truman's Drunk With Friends, available now from Southpaw Records.
There are 50 limited cassette EPs that have been printed, dubbed, and assembled by Heidi, available by mail order from Empty Cellar and at live shows.
Catch Pruno Truman on tour in Germany now:
08 Cologne, Germany – The King George
09 Mainz, Germany – Pengland 6.0, Binger Straße 23
10 Berlin, German – Madame Claude