free digital download:
MP3(high res) *this works best for most
This album was funded through house concerts, pre-purchases and donations. I’m filled with gratitude for the generosity and support I received. Your free download will contain the audio file, a pdf of the cover and a pdf of the artwork.
the making of crossfire:
On Crossfire, Stephanie Schneiderman takes matters into her own hands as an artist and (for the first time on her own studio album) as a producer. She combines her past sonic explorations—folk, Americana, trip hop, and pop—into a beautifully dark and deeply introspective recording that is as fresh as it is compelling. Crossfire is a self-released labor of love that celebrates her community and newfound artistic freedom as producer, and will be enjoyed by anyone looking to sit down with a timeless and truly great record.
As soon as she stepped into the Rye Room in Portland, OR to record with engineer/producer, Matt Greco, she knew the spare, roots album she intended to track was headed in a different direction.
“It was a unique experience leading the production. I learned to be creatively agile, trust my own instincts, and stay unafraid to follow the songs where they wanted go… even if it meant starting over from scratch.”
After tucking her 7-year-old son in at night, she would immerse herself in each song to find the right vibe, re-write verses, dream up new instrumentation and perfect vocal arrangements. Her experimentation led to a richer and darker ambience and her vision started to take shape.
To fulfill this vision, she recruited one of her heroes—renowned composer and musician Rob Burger (Calexico, Iron and Wine, Sting). She also traveled south to Gung Ho Studios in Eugene, OR to record with Tony/Grammy award winning producer Todd Sickafoose (Ani DeFranco, Anais Mitchell) on bass and Andy Borger (Tom Waits, Norah Jones) on drums. McKinley and Lara Michell, Swan Sovereign/Dirty Martini band/soul mates, sing on several co-written songs; Portland pedal steel ace Paul Brainard makes an appearance; members of the Oregon Symphony provided string parts arranged by Dave Mills; and hubby Tony Furtado adds cello banjo, baritone ukulele, and dobro on several tracks.
At each session, the songs started to take on a life of their own. The lead track, “Daughters”, features a haunting vocal arrangement wrapped in a blanket of lush programmed sounds, baritone ukulele, cello banjo, over a subtle rhythmic pulse. Overtop, Schneiderman’s voice melodically whispers a tale about how the stories of our ancestors play out in our own lives. The song was a defining moment in finding the sound of the album- that perfect balance between folk and a textured, electronic sensibility.
The songwriting on the rest of the album is similarly introspective, drawing on themes from Schneiderman’s own life including motherhood, failure and self-discovery. The album’s title track, “Crossfire”, tells the story of pain and forgiveness that drops into a gorgeous, melodic chorus that is as heartfelt as it is infectious. “Low Hum”, a co-write with her Swan Sovereign bandmates, is about connecting with her soon-to-be-born son, while “Empire”, recorded with film composer/musician John Morgan Askew, is a powerful, piano-driven ode to letting go.
Schneiderman funded the album with a combination of house concerts, pre-sales and patron events, so it felt like a community-effort. There’s a collage in the album-fold made to represent all the folks involved, and the final track, “Dead Voices”, includes many musicians and patrons close to the record—a fitting way to close the album.
“It was empowering to tap into all of my experiences throughout my career and to wrap all of that wisdom into the writing, arrangement and production of this album. Recording two electronic albums...learning to play drums...co-writing with Swan Sovereign – musically, this feels like the fusion of all the places I've been."
Crossfire will be released everywhere music is sold, streamed, or downloaded on May 6, 2022.