First conceived in a museum of antique arcade machines and later actualized in a small Victorian home on the banks of the Willamette River, Musée Mécanique’s Hold This Sean Ogilvie and Micah Rabwin met, started their first band together, played their first shows, and wrote their first jointly-penned songs before either of them could legally drive a car. Their early friendship fostered a creative partnership that has endured distance, estrangement and more than a decade of their lives.
While living in the Bay Area of California, the two songwriters developed an affinity for the collection of vintage coin-operated games, player pianos and novelties housed at the Musée Mécanique (Mechanical Museum) located on San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. Much like the recordings of Hold This Ghost, the machines within the museum are a hybrid of technology and humanity: mechanical by nature, but animated via a dedicated craftsmanship that reveals the unique flaws and personality of each.
Their Portland, Oregon home studio, itself a collection of interesting instruments and antiques, is peppered in every corner with second-hand flotsam. Tack pianos, trumpets, musical saws and garage sale Casio keyboards mingle among forgotten amateur landscape paintings, broken 1930s-era radios and hand-cranked ice cream makers. Their neighborhood - an integral source of the album’s inspiration - is flanked by giant Redwoods that overlook the scenic Willamette River. Nearby, an eerie mausoleum perches above a wildlife refuge and one of the oldest running amusement parks in the world.
Excited by the album’s story and songs, producer Tucker Martine mixed Hold This Ghost with a creative vision that perfectly echoed that of Rabwin and Ogilvie. Now, Rabwin and Ogilvie are joined on stage by multi-instrumentalists Matthew Rubin Berger, Jeffery Boyd and Brian Perez, bringing the album to life.