UTG ALBUM PREMIERE: Side Saddle – ‘The Astorian’

side saddle

With a now defunct This Old Ghost in his rear-view mirror, frontman Ian McGuinness is continuing on down the road with his new enterprise, Side Saddle. What originally began as a solo side project has become a full-blown band, and McGuinness and friends are all set to release their excellent debut full-length, entitled The Astorian.

Full of lush layers, varied instrumentation and McGuinness’ welcomingly engaging vocals (which have never sounded better), The Astorian is overflowing with beautiful songwriting and impressive production that elevates the band’s addictive folk-pop tunes to a new level.

We couldn’t possibly be more thrilled to have the opportunity to share this album with you all before its official release on September 15. If you’re a fan of acts like Surrogate, Good Old War, Death Cab For Cutie, or the aforementioned This Old Ghost, Side Saddle’s newest offering could be a contender for your favorite album of the year.

Below, you can stream The Astorian in its entirety and read what McGuinness had to say about the album and its year-long process.

“Making this record was a huge learning experience for me. We took our time and made sure we were happy with every part and every sound. There are things I would go back and do differently about each record I’ve made up until this one.

Most of the songs are about some kind of inner turbulence. Most of the record is autobiographical. “When it’s All Done” is about the breakup of my old band, which felt like a good place to start the record.

‘The Astorian’ took us about a year to make. TJ and I spent whatever weekends and weeknights we had free in a few different studios. The process for each song was basically the same. I’d lay down scratch vocals over the acoustic and TJ and I would listen back and build the song based on what we were hearing. Ryan from This Old Ghost played some guitar on the record and Eric Tait Jr who runs The Farm studio played some piano, trumpet and bass. I played drums on the record which was really fun. Rick Parker mixed the record, which for me was a dream come true. He’s worked on Good Old War, Lord Huron, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club etc… And Mike Kalajian at Telegraph mastered the record. He’s worked with Moving Mountains, Prawn, Ace Enders…”


If you’re in the Brooklyn, New York area, take advantage of the opportunity to spend some time with Side Saddle at their record release show on Monday, September 15 at Cameo Gallery. Special guests include Adrianne Lenker and Charlie Sztyk. You can find the show flyer below and more information here.

side saddle release show

Pick up a copy of The Astorian on iTunes.

Brian Leak

Editor-In-Chief. King of forgetting drinks in the freezer. Pop culture pack rat. X-Phile. LOST apologist.
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