When Tiny Dinosaur started recording their first full album in early 2020, the New Orleans Folk Group had high hopes. The plan was to record the album, get everything ready, then hit the road for a tour in May and June, new business card in hand.
Of course, the pandemic and the spring 2020 shutdowns threw those plans out the window — and that, according to the band, might have been for the best.
“It basically shut everything down, which was definitely a hard pill to swallow,” says Josey Krafczynski, who sings and plays acoustic guitar. “It was a weird thing, but I think it ended up being for the best. It was the first time I recorded a full album and released it and wondered what was going on. in there.
In hindsight, they wouldn’t have had time to do half of the things they had planned — like preparing a vinyl release — before going on tour, Krafczynski says. In addition, the music benefited. The band could approach the recording with more patience and try new things.
“We have the way we play these songs when we play them live, and I thought it would be a relatively simple process – we go in, we follow the things we play, we mix them and that’s it,” says Krafczynski. “Something that I didn’t really anticipate but turned out to be a cool look was, ‘Oh, how about we add this little texture here that we don’t usually add? Or this weird Hammond sound back Just experimenting with adding different layers, I think that’s one of the big things we would have lost if we tried to rush the album out.
The graduates participated in a residency at the Center for Contemporary Art last year, and they have two presentations on April 8 and 9.
Now, after more than two years of recording at UNO Studios, Tiny Dinosaur’s debut album is ready. The group will release “Songs for the Mass Extinction Event” on Friday, April 8. with a show at 7 p.m. at Broadside. Bon Bon Vivant and Sam Doores will also perform.
With Krafczynski, tiny dinosaur features banjo and melodica player Dusky Waters, viola player Trilly Nelson, Conner McCready on electric guitar, percussionist Layla Sutton and bassist Dylan James. Waters and Nelson also sing, and the three-part harmonies with Krafczynski are a nice force on “Songs for the Mass Extinction Event.”
Krafczynski, who moved from Pittsburgh to New Orleans in 2016, first performed solo as Tiny Dinosaur & The Gravity Wells in 2017. Soon after, Krafczynski began performing music with Waters. — they met in a dodgeball league — and got to know more musicians through friends who then joined the band.
A few Tiny Dinosaur EPs have been recorded in the past, but “Songs for the Mass Extinction Event” is the first release to feature the full, current lineup.
While folk is an easy descriptor for the new album, it’s also misleading. Tiny Dinosaur blends a number of influences, from New Orleans rhythm and blues to country and punk, to lush effect.
Lyrically, Tiny Dinosaur uses classic folk storytelling – but these stories are about ancient rituals, asking for help from witches and goblins who sneak in during the night to rearrange vinyl records on the bookshelf. The album opens with “Carnation,” a song about wanting to do more that unfolds like a conversation between a group of weeds jealous of the carnations growing across the pond.
“I’m definitely the folk guy who grew up listening like James Taylor and that kind of stuff. But the fantasy aspect came from always loving fables and mythology, especially anything to do with strange creatures or spirits,” says Krafczynski. “I don’t want to write a song about a simple breakup, but what if I told it through this fantastical, almost allegorical kind of thing?”
In-person and online events coming up this week in New Orleans.