noun \i-ˈfe-mər-ə, i-ˈfem-rə\
things that are important or useful for only a short time ; items that were not meant to have lasting value
Love & Other Ephemera
is a collection of songs written by New York City-based singer-songwriter Hank Kim. Kim, who released two full-length CDs over the past decade, Blue Alibi and Notorious Rainproof Smile, chose to record L&OE under the name of Silvery Ghosts for multiple reasons.
“It really seems to fit with the sonic approach that we took with this recording. The ethereal, airy feel of the tracks has a ghostlike quality,” said Kim. “Also, this record marks my return to music after a long hiatus and so it just felt right to start from a clean slate.”
Kim chose to record the project at Twin Buffalo Studios in Brooklyn in 2013 with the first day of pre-production coinciding with a blistering New York City heatwave, an ironic kickoff to the random musical impulses starting to germinate in the studio. L&OE was produced by Nate Martinez, whose own project Thieving Irons had made an impact on Kim. “I had admired Nate’s work both as a producer and musician with Thieving Irons and before that with the band Pela (now called Augustines). Nate has this fearless curiosity that facilitates the creation of these distinctive, otherworldly sonic settings that elevate songs without sacrificing their emotional punch.”
Martinez and Kim approached the arrangements on the album through a broad filter that combined elements of modern electronic music and programming with traditional tools like piano and acoustic guitar as well as touches of Eastern sounds including the Saz (a Turkish 7-Stringed instrument with the intonation of a mandolin) and the sitar. “We wanted to create a record that was of-the-moment but also had a timeless quality to it ,” said Kim. “One of the operating principles on this record was to create music without boundaries. The idea of ephemera was applied here in the sense of searching for truthful expression that may or may not be relevant years from now but captures the emotional essence of a given moment in time.”
Love & Other Ephemera also features the voice of another New York City staple, Kelli Scarr, who shares lead vocal duties with Kim on the record. “I really liked her work with Moby as well as her solo recordings, and it was clear that she had the versatility to bring different colors to the entire spectrum of tunes.”
If Love & Other Ephemera is a musical meditation on the notion of impermanence, it’s also as much a record about the process of resurrection and healing, through which a struggling artist finally finds his true voice.
“The past 5 years has been an amazing, humbling personal journey. I started in a place of mourning and find myself now in a place of hope and excitement. All of the twists and turns of the past were necessary for me to find my voice as a singer and an artist,” recalled Kim. “Silvery Ghosts is an opportunity to finally assert myself. I feel like the training wheels are coming off with this record. I may actually know what the hell I’m doing. It’s a great feeling.”