We Create Music Blog
September 04, 2012

Jason Karaban's Shift

By Jason Karaban

Jason Karaban

Jason Karaban

Shift is a very different album for me. Never having been conceived as a record, Shift is a cauldron full of glimpses into the past few years. Indeed, I have grown and changed immensely over the past few years and as such, the songs on Shift vary greatly in style from one another. Not a bad thing, but certainly different than my previous records where at a certain point in time I knew I was setting out to record and, quite systematically, I would plot it all out, figuring out who would produce it, how long it would take, where I would record it, who would play on it, etc. With Shift, there wasn't any forethought or any planning. I couldn't have really "planned" that process, especially because the overall process of writing Shift was not always pleasant, nor one which afforded me much opportunity for human connection. In hindsight, I can see myself as totally disconnected - completely reclusive and stuck in the dark spots of my ego.

However, as I went through this very transitional time in my life, shedding layers of insecurity and doubt and figuring out ways to rise above the cacophony of relentless thought, I simply found peace, as I always have, in music. I let the songs come to me and then I documented them - they became moments in time. The songs were the chapters of my story, laying itself out and unfolding in front of me. And finally, five years passed and I realized I had a small stockpile of songs, certainly enough for a record. And while I started the process not wanting to share the songs (sometimes I didn't even want to remember them), I realized that I finally was at a place where I felt comfortable letting the songs go and allowing other people to, in their own way, interpret them.

So, in 2012 Shift was born. And while I spent most of the past five years keeping to myself, I did manage to connect with a wide range of talented friends like Garrison Starr, Sara Watkins, Glen Phillips (Toad the Wet Sprocket) and Lucy Schwartz to name more than a few, to help me realize these songs. Shift also features the production talents of Steve Jay (Regina Spektor, Joe Walsh), Shane Smith (Los Lobos, HEALTH), Ethan Allen (Counting Crows, Jason Falkner) and Barrie Maguire (Amos Lee, Natalie Merchant).


Philly-born, Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Jason Karaban may be a notorious recluse, but he still manages to attract a cast of notable artists to lend their talents to his recordings. Over the years, Karaban has worked with Ani DiFranco, Dave Pirner (Soul Asylum), C.C. Adcock, Ivan Neville (Keith Richards, Neville Brothers), David Immerglück and Charlie Gillingham (Counting Crows), Pete Thomas and Davey Farragher (Elvis Costello's Imposters), Priscilla Ahn and many more.

Karaban's fourth studio album Shift was released on September 4th, 2012 on Ascend Records. He will tour for the first time in many years this fall.

Download Shift on iTunes here: bit.ly/PYarQE

Visit Jason Karaban on Facebook: www.facebook.com/JasonKaraban