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Jeremy and Gideon first began making music together as Briars of North America in 2009 (a sister band to the Thistles of North America, which never made it out of the aughts). Greg Chudzik entered the Briars orbit soon after. A first-call classical and new music bassist, Greg is also a member of the Signal and Talea ensembles and has collaborated with influential contemporary music composers such as Steve Reich and Pierre Boulez and independent-minded outsiders such as Dan Deacon and Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood.

Jeremy and Gideon have also worked in an intriguingly diverse range of settings, often with historically significant collaborators. Hailing from the hills of Vermont’s Northeast
Kingdom, Gideon is a student of traditional and ancient forms of singing from places such as the Caucasus, the Mediterranean, and the rural US. He has performed as part of the Bread and Puppet Theater, and recently became a company member with downtown legend Meredith Monk. 

From the swamplands of south-central Wisconsin, Jeremy’s background mixes training in classical French horn and experience playing with some of the heavyweights of American indie rock. He played on The National’s now-classic album High Violet, and was the sole new member of Neutral Milk Hotel when they reformed between 2013-15 — famously playing the bagpipe solo on “untitled” which brought down the house down during each night’s encore. Briars of North America made their big-stage debut while serving as the opening act for a week of Jeff Mangum’s solo tour dates in 2013.

“I play music because it draws together all the disintegrating strands of life into something palatable, comprehensible, moving,” says Jeremy. “Music conjures the spirit behind both suffering and joy and holds it for a second, a unique singularity in an expanding cosmos. Plus, it’s a good way to spend time and communicate with people. If we can get people to dance or cry, it feels like we’ve been in deep conversation, even if we would have nothing to say to each other in normal life. We aspire to create music that exists in a ceremonial space, where emotions crystallize and structures like time and emotion become malleable.”

Current Release

Briars of North America
Release Date: June 18, 2021

Track List:

1. Sala
2. Island
3. Seventh Brew
4. Chirping Birds
5. The Albatross of Infinite Regress
6. Same Old Lady
7. Ambient Condor
8. Spring Moon
9. Supermoon
10. Sleepy Not Sleepy

Photos (click for hi-res)