Mascott – The Cost/Amount EP - Kiam Records - 9/17/13
Mascott is Kendall Jane Meade and Kendall Jane Meade is Mascott.
Meade named her pop group/musical alter ego after her childhood nickname: “I'm the youngest of four kids,” Meade explained. “My mom always called me the mascot of the family. I added the extra 't' to be fancy.”
Since 1998, Mascott has quietly and consistently delivered her own unique blend of undeniable, sparkling pop bliss. The Cost/Amount EP, the fifth Mascott release and her first for Kiam Records, is no exception.
A very busy lady – musically and otherwise – Kendall has also spent a great deal of the past 15 years lending her talents to other notable projects such as Sparklehorse, The Spinanes, and Helium, to name a few. She has also worked as a fashion copywriter and honed her hook-writing skills as a co-writer with Doug Gillard (Guided By Voices, Nada Surf), Austin Hartley-Leonard and Anders Parker (with whom she recently released a wonderful, critically-praised album of duets called Wild Chorus). But Mascott is the musical home base to which she always returns.
Some key points from the Mascott highlight reel include a “Pick of the Month” nod from Spin Magazine for her debut EP Electric Poems, a lush, Jim O’Rourke produced follow-up LP called Follow the Sound, and a breakthrough song cycle and bona fide classic record in Dreamer’s Book. Most recently, Meade crafted and produced Art Project while simultaneously holding down a full-time job in the fashion world. She recently gave up the day job to focus 100 percent on music.
“I recently transitioned from being full time to being freelance so I could create more time for making and writing music,” Meade explained. “I'd been full time for about ten years. Making music makes me happy, so I wanted more space and time to let it in.”
Interesting tidbit: Meade ran a record label called Red Panda Records for most of the 2000s and in addition to putting out her own records, she also released a record by The Naysayer and Jennifer O’Connor’s The Color and The Light. Jennifer is now returning the favor, so to speak, by releasing The Cost/Amount EP on her Kiam Records.
“I’ve been a big fan of Kendall Meade and her songs for a very long time,” O’Connor said. “She’s a master song crafter whom I look up to a great deal and I couldn’t be more excited to deliver new Mascott music to the world.”
The Cost/Amount EP is short, sweet and packs a magnificent punch. Recorded and mixed by Tom Beaujour (Nada Surf, Jennifer O’Connor) at The Nuthouse in Hoboken, it features many longtime Mascott players including Doug Keith (Sharon Van Etten), Ben Lord (Lydia Lunch), Rainy Orteca (Joan As Policewoman), Craig Chin, Margaret White (Sparklehorse,Cat Power, Belle and Sebastian, Pillowfighter) and O’Connor. Exploring the sometimes rocky, always rewarding waters of love relationships with typical Mascott panache and flair, it features two stellar Meade pop originals in “Cost/Amount” and “By The Book”, an anthemic co-write with O’Connor called “Our Life” and a gorgeous cover of the Kirsty MacColl ballad “They Don’t Know”.
Do yourself a favor: Brighten your day and give this one listen.
***All Mascott photos by Debora Francis
Recorded and mixed by Tom Beaujour at Nuthouse Recording, Hoboken, NJ
Cover design by Sara Brownell
1. Cost/Amount - Vox: KJM, B-vox: Jennifer O'Connor, Bass: Craig Chin, Guitar: Doug Keith, Violin: Margaret White, Keys: Joe Seely, Drums & Percussion: Ben Lord
2. Our Life - Vox & Piano: KJM, B-vox: Jennifer O'Connor, Bass: Rainy Orteca, Guitars: Doug Keith, Drums: Ben Lord, Percussion: Ben Lord & Doug Keith
3. By The Book - Vox & Wurly: KJM, Bass: Rainy Orteca, Guitars & Percussion: Doug Keith, Drums: Ben Lord
4. They Don't Know - Vox: KJM, Guitar: Doug Keith, Guitar: Jennifer O'Connor
Songs 1 & 3 written by Kendall Jane Meade
Song 2 written by Meade and Jennifer O'Connor
Song 4 written by Kirsty MacColl
Song 3 orchestration arranged by Doug Keith
Mascott - The Cost/Amount EP - KRC15
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Press for The Cost/Amount EP
"The four cuts feature three very catchy originals in her typical sparkling guitar pop style, plus a lovely cover of Kirsty MacColl's "They Don't Know About Us" (made famous by Tracy Ullman)." - Brooklyn Vegan
"We begin with an emphatic one-two punch: an itchy guitar line borrowed from 1979 and a lead vocal of heart-melting purity. Kendall Jane Meade has one of those voices that makes me stop in my tracks—all the more so because she doesn’t stop in hers; she sings with a fetching matter-of-factness I much prefer to the vocal preening we often get from people who know they have a good voice." - Fingertips
"...a sweet song with anthemic flair." - American Songwriter