Andy LeMaster is an outsider in most aspects. The first non-Nebraskan signed to Saddle Creek, he basically lives in a Chase Park studio in Athens and hasn’t been heard from much since Now It’s Overhead’s last record in 2006. Yet his second LP, Fall Back Open, found him dead center within the artistic coordinates of Omaha — it’s where the raw confessionals of Bright Eyes commingled with The Faint’s politicization of nightclubbing under the awning of the nocturnal synth-pop of early Good Life. “Profile” lasciviously scanned Match.com over hard electro; “The Decision Made Itself” manifested LeMaster’s anxieties with forthright acoustic strumming; and the title track swooned and reverberated infinitely, all of it quintessentially Saddle Creek in sounding immaculately produced and yet entirely handcrafted. And thanks to the inclusion of “Antidote,” it’s also the best record Michael Stipe appeared on in the 21st century.
By Ian Cohen on 07.19.12 in Collections
As the new millennium dawned, Omaha spawned an unusual amount of wildly talented, photogenic and outspoken artists. And while nearly all of these talents found a home on Saddle Creek, a label cofounded by Nebraska-Omaha...
By Ian Cohen on 11.26.14 in Features
The band's 2003 album serves as a Grand Theft Auto-like world where you can let your worst impulses run wild before returning to everyday existence.
By Stephen M. Deusner on 04.16.13 in Reviews
On, 2010's Personal Life, Portland trio the Thermals jettisoned the political angst that motivated their early material in favor of a more autobiographical subject matter. Frontman Hutch Harris sang about matters of the...
By Wondering Sound Staff on 08.29.12 in Reviews
Saddle Creek, from Omaha, took the best of the burgeoning emo scene and cross-bred it with American roots music. They built a homegrown empire with unforgettable releases from Conor Oberst, Tim Kasher, and the Faint, and...