First/Last – Sol Persona

September 7, 2016

“The experimentally minded Sol Persona project seems interested in reinvigorating music by foregrounding various constructions of subjecthood and the various rigors of the human condition. Sol Persona’s compositions are magnetic and ethereal; they’re often elaborate, mosaic-like compositions seemingly concerned with reconstructing love, beauty, and identity. I think his fusion of chaotic tenderness and green refuge will prove to be a daring game changer” – Paul Cunningham

Sol Persona is the moniker of Karter Schachner, a Pittsburgh based songwriter who’s avant-garde music mixes chamber pop and neo-classical to form a unique and ultimately gratifying listening experience. I want to thank Karter for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?

It was either a Three Doors Down Live album or Elephunk by the Black Eyed Peas.

Your last album bought?

Kendrick Lamar To Pimp a Butterfly.

Favorite album of all time?

I feel like I have a different answer for this every time. This time I’m going to say Perfume Genius’ Put Ur Back N 2 It. I discovered PG In 2013 when he opened for Sigur Rós at a gorgeous outdoor amphitheater in Philly. I listened to this album every night for six months straight. PG presents a sadness and loneliness so deeply personal that it is spiritual. Mike Hadreas’ quivering voice and viscerally honest lyrics reflected my own feelings of detachment and emptiness, so the album was a cathartic and redemptive experience.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?

Most disappointing: Autre Ne Veux Age of Transparency. His 2013 album Anxiety is a near-perfect record and this new stuff is just messy.

First concert attended?

The first concert I willingly attended was Angels and Airwaves and Taking Back Sunday at Ye Old Chevrolet Amphitheater. Before that I had been to a few bluegrass / folk shows with my parents. It was very inspiring to me and fueled the fire to work harder on music.

Last concert?

Besides the Deutschtown Music Festival a few months back, JMSN and Tiffany Gouche.

Favorite concert ever?

FORM in Arcosanti, AZ. I attended in May 2015 and it’s a truly perfect festival. The location and the lineup was on point… Hundred Waters, How to Dress Well, Majical Clouds, Moses Sumney, The Antlers, Tokimonsta… just to name a few.

Least favorite concert?

Only because I was late and only got to see half of her set… tUnE-YaRdS a few years back. She is one of my musical heroes and I will never forgive myself for this sin.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?

Growing up about 30 min north of the city in a very rural town, Pittsburgh was this utopia of culture to me. It always felt like a city where cool things happened if a fairly acceptable amount of people decided it was a pretty okay idea. Which is basically what I did with my band These Three Words, who I performed with around the city throughout high school and early college. Now that I have lived here for a year and a half, I can say that although it may not be a “utopia of culture” it is definitely a great place for ideas to flourish and be presented in an intimate atmosphere.

Thanks, Karter. Your Perfume Genius discovery is my absolute favorite way to first hear a new artist I eventually love. When you are not expecting much from a performance and BAM! you get hit with it and your appreciate just grows from there is thrilling every time.