CURLING — No Guitar

CURLING — No Guitar

Deluxe Edition. Plus US & Japanese Tour Dates.

Curling’s third album No Guitar is their most fully realized work yet, a lush and intricate collection that covers a ton of ground, from the bittersweet jangle of power-pop, to indie-folk, Midwestern emo, and much more. The album marks the latest evolution for cross-continental duo Bernie Gelman and Joseph Brandel, who first met in high school and have been fusing their own unique musical sensibilities ever since, with Gelman operating out of the San Francisco Bay Area while Brandel currently resides in Japan.

Perusing an online message board, Gelman came across drummer Kynwyn Sterling from Portland, OR and reached out to see if she’d be interested in playing together. Pretty soon thereafter Brandel and Gelman decamped to Portland with Sterling and everything started coming together; the newly-formed trio felt their creativity flowing and four new songs emerged, the beginnings of many sessions to come with engineer Ian Pellici at Brothers Chinese Recording in Oakland, CA.

Royal Oakie Records is proud to release No Guitar (Deluxe Edition) which combines the original album with two instrumental bonus tracks from the No Guitar sessions, Cavalry and C2, both featuring transitional drummer Kevin Stewart. Mixed and mastered by David Glasebrook, the bonus tracks add further depth and stylistic reach to the album.

The album title reflects an initial notion to abandon the six-strings of their previous albums. “It lasted 30 minutes before we picked up some guitars,” Gelman laughs. “No Guitar was originally supposed to be the first Curling album where we diverged from writing songs with guitars. That definitely didn’t happen! Except for one song, which is called No Guitar.”

The name of the album has two further meanings for the band. For example, ’no’ in Japanese works like the possessive in English. “Those who know Japanese will notice that ‘Curling No Guitar’ literally translates to ‘Curling’s Guitar’ and ‘No Guitar’ also refers to my father’s command regarding my after-hours music-making in adolescence,” adds Gelman.

You can hear shades of shoegaze in Hi-Elixir, where a massive wall of fuzzy guitars recalls My Bloody Valentine; Patience has a sweet-and-sour bite that recalls acts like Archers of Loaf and Shudder to Think; while URDoM swings and sways with a tapestry of guitars reminiscent of American Football and Mineral.

During the pandemic, Curling effectively went on hiatus for three years. “Coming back together was strange,” Gelman remembers. “Jojo hadn’t picked up a guitar in months, and after a certain point we were like, ‘Do we want to be doing this?’” Brandel was going through a serious breakup, and Gelman’s father passed away, an absence addressed in the acoustic melodies of Hotel. “It’s a song about that feeling of grief, as well as the intangible loss of words that you never said,” Gelman explains. “We’ve gotten better at idea-sharing,” Brandel adds. “We’ve become more comfortable working with each other's songs.”

Fittingly, No Guitar ends with a gorgeous and wordless tangle of electronics, gesturing towards the future’s perpetual uncertainties, while also pointing towards an exciting new future for the band.

Track Notes - Curling - No Guitar.pdf 32 KB Curling - No Guitar (Deluxe Edition) - lyrics.pdf 68 KB


02/16 - Ninespices - Shinjuku - Tokyo, JP

02/17 - Space - Shinjuku - Tokyo, JP

02/18 - Pool - Sakuradai - Tokyo, JP

02/19 - Jam - Nishieifuku - Tokyo, JP

02/23 - Kichijoji Warp - Musashino - Tokyo, JP

02/24 - Flat - Nishi-Ogikubo - Tokyo, JP

02/26 - Fever - Shindaita - Tokyo, JP


03/01 - Tamper Room - Fremont, CA

03/02 - Gay Gardens Homestead - Sacramento, CA

03/03 - Neck of the Woods - San Francisco, CA

03/10 - No Fun - Portland, OR

Curling - No Guitar (album cover)
Curling - No Guitar (album cover)


Produced by Joseph Brandel and Bernie Gelman

Engineered and mixed by Ian Pellicci at Brothers Chinese Recording in Oakland, CA

'Cavalry' and 'C2' mixed & mastered by David Glasebrook at The Garden Shed, Oakland, CA

Additional engineering on 'Cavalry' by David Glasebrook

Acoustic guitar and vocals on 'Pop Song' engineered by Yoshiaki Kondoh at Gok Sound in Tokyo, JP

Mastered by Golden Mastering in Ventura, CA

All songs written by Joseph Brandel and Bernie Gelman © 2024 (except lyrics to 'Dysfunction' written by Michael Fernando)


Joseph Brandel: Vocals, guitars, bass

Bernie Gelman: Vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards

Kynwyn Sterling: Drums, percussion


Ross Eustis: Trumpet on 'Shamble'

Raffi Garabedian: Tenor saxophone on 'Shamble'

Danny Lubin-Laden: Trombone on 'Shamble'

Samsun van Loon: Cello on 'Pastoral'

Liana Berube: Violin on 'Majesty' and 'Pastoral'

Akio Jeimus: Congas on 'Dysfunction'

Evan Price: Violin on 'Majesty'

Tatiana Trono: Viola on 'Majesty'

Lucas Chen: Cello on 'Majesty'

Michael Graham: Cello on 'Husk'

Kevin Stewart: Drums on 'Cavalry' and 'C2'

Additional arrangements for horns and strings by Doug Stuart


February 9th 2024 - First single Shamble (single edit) OUT NOW

February 23rd 2024 - Second single Cavalry

March 1st 2024 - No Guitar (Deluxe Edition) digital + US physical releases - CD & cassette

April 19th 2024 - No Guitar (Deluxe Edition) UK/EU physical releases - CD & cassette

No Guitar (Deluxe Edition), by Curling

For more information please contact...

Mal Smith & Chris Carr
Mal Smith & Chris Carr Delta PR
Europe & North America
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