SEEDS, Box Set (2008)



Ryland Bouchard Seeds was released at the end of 2008, before a six month long tour with over 100 shows spanning between the USA, Canada, Mexico and Europe. The ambitious box set release was my first as Ryland Bouchard, after the 2006 release of the concept album Good World. A largely personal album, my intention was to follow the themes of love and loss first touched on in Carousel Waltz (2005), but with a more mature heart and restrained arrangements. Seeds, A-Sides is divided into four sections which cover the ever changing (and repeating) patterns of life and relationships. By the final track on Part Four, the lyrics read “The Seeds go by / the weeds have grown / and in my head I’ve watched us grow / but I couldn’t accept where it would go”. At some point in life either you accept your future, or you make a change that creates something new. Although the lyrics may be introspective on Seeds they were written to reflect how an honest heart can be taken through life in many ways it can’t predict. Looking back on this release, now in 2011, I feel the lyrics and songs still remain true.


The majority of the tracks on Seeds, A-Sides were recorded live with my good friend Kevin Michael Mayfield, an amazing musician and songwriter in his own right. The arrangements were then completed by myself and Alan Lechusza, who also helped with Carousel Waltz. The recordings also featured some good friends including a long-time collaborator William Haworth (The Robot Ate Me), Aaron Shepherd (The Artistery, Metal) and Jay Arner  (The International Falls, Poison Dart and Fine Mist). All the recording was done live to analog tape and no digital effects or processing was used. Some takes were spliced together, as was done on many records in the 1960’s before digital including, most notably, The Beach Boys Pet Sounds. An example of this is in the song “Loved A Girl” which was assembled from various parts and different recording sessions. Although the format of tape does not change the songs, I feel it is useful in the artistic process - preventing the correction of mistakes that often make recordings sound great. 


The artwork for the box set was completed by the brilliant Daniel Gibson, a long time collaborator and illustrator based out of Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA. We met in 2001 before the release of the first record by The Robot Ate Me and have remained friends since. In describing what I envisioned for the Seeds release he was initially overwhelmed, but in the end he created a beautiful set of illustrations and templates for the letter-pressing and screen-printing. All of his illustrations were printed with full offset printing, on archival paper. The CD/DVD cases were all screen-printed and then sewn by hand over several weeks. All the box lids, shirts, posters and bags included with the release were also screen-printed by hand taking up the full basement of the Artistery while we worked on completing the printing (thanks Aaron!). To this day, the artwork and packaging designed by Daniel Gibson for this release remains my favorite out of anything we’ve done.


Seeds, B-Sides covers a long list of 34 tracks spanning from just after Good World to the end of the Seeds recordings. Many of these tracks were rough ideas, experiments or songs that just did not quite fit in with the tracks on the A-Sides. Some have told me these are their favorite tracks on Seeds which is surprising to me, but those who enjoy my more experimental work should probably start with the B-Sides if listening to Seeds for the first time. The tracks document a change from the more experimental sounds of Good World to my collaborations with friends between 2006 and late 2008.

DVD & Super 8

Included with the Seeds box set is a collection of Super 8 videos - inspired by Super 8 films shot by Kevin Michael Mayfield. All the videos were shot in collaboration with Kevin Michael Mayfield, Carmen Jaudon, and Jason Smith. We spent over a month shooting various videos (a story of it’s own) and in the end I decided to use only the videos shoot with Super 8 film. I absolutely love the colors and nostalgic feel of Super 8. My concept with the videos was to focus on relationships and memories, as blurry as they often are…This video “Woke Up Alone” was shot mostly using slow motion and time lapse functions of my old Super 8 camera and features some beautiful spots along the Oregon Coast:


By the time the letter-pressing, screen-printing, videos and art for the box sets were completed we had still not received the vinyl back from the manufacturing plant and I had to leave for tour the next morning (to promote the release) with the project still unfinished. Fortunately a friend was managing the record label while I was on tour and was able to mail out the completed sets, albiet after many delays…The project and tour took a toll on me physically - due to the long hours of work and months of very little sleep - and mid-tour, in the middle of the winter, my body gave out to pneumonia. The process of collaboration for the production of Seeds was one of the most fulfilling of my life - and I can only hope the music and art from this release will inspire and comfort others for years to come. -RB

Part One
1. married to the ground
2. another day no.1
3. woke up alone
4. loved a girl
5. bye bye love no.3

Part Two
1. henry the devil
2. born in the middle
3. drinking
4. no hands no clothes

Part Three
1. tongues
2. sugar
3. sweetheart
4. golden you

Part Four
1. awake all night
2. another day no.2
3. lover
4. your ghost
5. seeds


1. kings
2. sewing
3. stress tents
4. shy deer
5. interlude no.1
6. once the sun stops feeling new
7. snow bird
8. so tired (partial)
9. the bison king
10. sweet dreams
11. happy endings
12. puke pig
13. so funny i’ll die
14. lady green
15. salty lips
16. my own pouring rain
17. interlude no.2
18. seeds no.2
19. her spell
20. instrumental no.9
21. oh man
22. ladder to the window *
23. sweet little girl *
24. instrumental no.3
25. instrumental no.4
26. instrumental no.2
27. tow the wind
28. one day you’re happy
29. young girl
30. club my knees
31. lift the seas
32. no head no toes
33. bye bye love no.2
34. bye bye love no.4
* = written by Kevin Michael Mayfield




"SEEDS" was written and recorded by Ryland Bouchard and Kevin Michael Mayfield between October 2007 and August 2008 on a 1971 Stephens Electronics 2416 console and an Otari MX80 2" 16 track at his home in Portland, Oregon. "SEEDS" was mixed by Ryland Bouchard in August of 2008 on a Stephens Electronics 2416 console and a 1968 3M M56 2" 16 track. CD mastering was done by Ryland Bouchard. Vinyl mastering by Prairie Cat Mastering. Records pressed at United Record Pressing in Nashville, TN. Illustrations, layout, and artwork completed by Daniel Gibson. Letterpressing by Keegan Meegan Press & Bindery in Portland, OR. Released by Swim Slowly Records in 2008.


Ryland Bouchard: songs, guitar, piano, synth, drums, vocals, accordion, arrangements, production. Kevin Michael Mayfield: guitar, drums, piano, harmonica, vocals, arrangements, production. Alan Lechusza: woodwind/string arrangements, clarinet, flute, oboe, english horn, sax. Evan Kuhlmann: contrabassoon. Aaron Shepherd: bass. Jay Arner: drums. William Haworth: drums, keyboard. Rebekah Bellingham: violin, viola, vocals. Lana Rebel: vocals, guitar. Cielle Taoffe: vocals, violin.

ALL TALK+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

"One of the most creative and potentially scary (though you’d never know it) minds of our generation" -

"People demand a degree of continuity from bands. Gradual artistic evolution is encouraged over the course of a long career, but constant reinvention as an aesthetic mode is accepted only in a few canonized chameleons like David Bowie, and even then only after a period of introductory stability. So it’s not surprising that instinctive changeling Ryland Bouchard - who crammed a David Byrne’s worth of sincere musical metamorphosis into five years and four albums as the Robot Ate Me before abruptly retiring the name in 2007 - has confounded critics and fans alike…His most forthrightly personal record to date, explores the growth and decay of interpersonal relationships over SEEDS’ four installments and a variety of folk forms, recalling Randy Newman, Jeff Mangum, Nick Drake, and, yes, even the Robot Ate Me. Even on intimate, bare songs like gorgeous album highlight "Bye Bye Love #3," the steady woodwinds that discordantly put the surprisingly short song to bed remind us that a songwriter as strong as Bouchard retains his distinctive and lovely compositional voice regardless of the tradition in which he is working." - PORTLAND MERCURY, CARY CLARKE