In the Balance is Joe Strell's third release on the independent label Dansbane Eländet, following his 2005 debut Under a Mackerel Sky and the 2006 sophomore effort Enormous Morning. Embedded with his trademark hooks of gliding slide guitar, delicate ukulele, and shimmering mandolin, In the Balance comprises fourteen tracks that showcase the range of Strell's unique acoustic sound. Some tracks are lavish productions that resound with multi-part harmonies and complex arrangements, while others strive for stark minimalism, attaining a delicate intimacy that lingers like the scent of a summer shower (or haunts like the sting of love lost). To listen to this record is to embark upon an intensely personal journey with the meaning of love and life held in the balance.
From the Author:
"Everything exists in relation to everything else. There is a balance that is achieved of its own accord. We may upset this balance temporarily, but the system eventually will settle into a new equilibrium--albeit one not necessarily to our liking. What matters is not so much where we weigh-in on the important questions, but that we bother to ask them in the first place. What really lies in the balance is our hope for the future and our faith in the past, both of which extend from the fulcrum that is now. Which way do you lean? "-- Joe Strell
at least (at last) / she smiles / flowers from a previous arrangement / shoreline of heaven / waiting on a lifetime / what sadder thing / distant blue / mood (clown noire) / if only it would rain / a subtle breeze / making senseless / take this time / your turn / a lament for love (empathy)
Joe Strell - vocals, guitar, mandolin, ukulele, dulcimer, bass, percussion, drums
Marie Jacobsen - harmonica on "distant blue "
Meghan Strell - duet vocals on "your turn"
Jack Lenzo - art direction, design and photography