On Myth and Memory (2009, released 2011)
These songs were written in a long dream, walking the streets of Prague in June 2009. They sat in a book for two years and were revived and recorded in Chicago, June 2011. The second release under the name Kong Must Dead, this album came out as a kind of Indie Folk offering, quite different from the first and subsequent third releases as KMD.
Around the time of making this album I had become invested in trying to unravel the mystery of simplicity in music. Simple music can transcend its constituent elements. I think of Nick Drake, early Beatles, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, and so many more. Was it the efficiency of getting so much mileage out of so little, or did the reduction allow us to focus more on the beauty of what remained, or was it the innocence assumed from such a limited expression? Whatever it was, it was spellbinding. Still (and probably permanently) I am drawn in by simple music that communicates so much by saying very little. I can't say that On Myth and Memory was specifically an attempt to create such music, but these ideas and questions certainly comingled with my experience and work on this record.
Ben Hjertmann - voice, guitar, banjo, keys, drums, bass, flutes, clarinet, cello, sax, miscellany
Luke Gullickson - piano, guitar, trumpet on "There Will Be a Sun"
Josh Biere - Tuba on "Old and Dead"