Courtesy Photo 
This photo shows the album cover for Whiskey Class’ new self-titled EP being released on vinyl. The album artwork was done by Kelsey Lovig.

Courtesy Photo This photo shows the album cover for Whiskey Class’ new self-titled EP being released on vinyl. The album artwork was done by Kelsey Lovig.

Whiskey business: Band with Southeast roots puts out new EP on vinyl

License to vinyl.

After nearly a decade of playing music together, Whiskey Class is giving a new kind of release a spin.

A self-titled EP from Patrick Troll and Liz Snyder, Southeast Alaskans now living in Seattle who perform and record together as Whiskey Class, is being released on vinyl — a first for the duo. While most buyers will need to wait for later this month to get their hands on a copy, Troll already has his copies.

“It still is trippy,” Troll said of the record. “I was looking at it, and it’s like that’s our sound coming through the indents.”

Both Snyder and Troll praised the personal touches and ritual associated with records. The extra-large album art, the legible text on the packaging’s spine, the artwork inserts and the listener participation required to place a record on a platter and drop a tonearm were cited as part of the appeal. Plus, in an era where even MP3s and a dedicated audio player are generally eschewed for streaming, there’s a novelty to actually owning a release in a tangible way.

“I feel it’s really special to have a physical copy of something,” Snyder said.

Getting physical

Troll and Snyder each said releasing music on vinyl is a process drastically different from putting it out on other formats, such as CD.

“You can’t make a vinyl in your bedroom,” Troll said.

Snyder said “Whiskey Class” was about a year in the making. Troll said the band had a couple of songs completed, when No Trend Records, a Chicago-based record label, reached out and set the wheels of a vinyl release in motion.

“Once we kind of knew that this was going to be on a record, we were like we have to make this sound good,” Troll said. “I think it’s some of our best work yet.”

In addition to Troll and Snyder, the EP features additional guitar and bass from Alex Nelson, additional guitar from Cullen McCormick, additional vocals and lyrics from Alex Kotlarsz and additional lyric support from Kyle Palmer, according to the album credits.

“It wasn’t just me and Patrick, we had a bunch of homies,” Snyder said.

It took a team to bring the physical release to fruition, too.

Troll said No Trend was massively helpful in getting the music mastered for vinyl and finding a plant that could press it. The EP, which was mixed by Troll who Snyder called a “wizard,” was mastered by Carl Saff, cut at Welcome to 1979, a Nashville-based studio, and pressed at Blue Sprocket Pressing, a vinyl record-maker based in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

The process that led to the physical release included decision-making on minute details about packaging that is absent from other types of releases.

“It was a lot of back-and-forth,” Snyder said.

Both she and Troll said they were ultimately pleased with the results.

The cover art, which depicts Troll and Snyder in detailed, black-and-white line drawings frozen mid-reverie by a psychedelic paisley UFO tractor beam, was done by Kelsey Lovig. Album layouts were done by Tyler White and West Smith. The Iron and Wine-meets-Madchester aesthetic fits with the EP’s electro-tinged, spacey folk sound.

“Opening the box was a pretty surreal moment,” Troll said. “It was a dream come true.”

The artists are hopeful the bespoke final product finds its audience.

“It would be awesome to see support,” Snyder said.

Troll said he’d be excited if all 300 copies of the EP find buyers.

[Permanent Records: New store gives old media staying power]

Vinyl hounds in Juneau have the chance to make that happen, as both local record stores —Downtown Disc and Hi-Fi Senpai — plan to stock “Whiskey Class.”

Keith Crocker, co-owner of Downtown Disc, said his shop will have three copies in stock when the store opens on Friday. Nano Brooks, co-owner of Hi-Fi Senpai, said he hopes to have copies soon. Shoppers will also be able to purchase it through the Downtown Disc site, Crocker said.

Getting the release into her hometown’s record stores was a goal for Snyder.

“That was honestly my only thought,” Snyder said. “I want these in Juneau.”

Southeast Sounds

Whiskey Class can trace its roots back to the Alaska Folk Festival in Juneau —specifically the 2012 iteration of the fest.

That’s when the duo started playing music together. And over the years, Snyder, who is from Juneau, and Troll, who is from Ketchikan, have continued to collaborate. and release music.

Snyder said “Whiskey Class” is the first Whiskey Class project recorded while the duo lived within driving distance. Although, early on in the recording process, the then-nascent pandemic meant recording in familiar ways.

“Liz and I didn’t really meet up for the first couple of months of the pandemic,” Troll said. “We started getting together, and we kind of made these tracks just in our bedrooms, just the two of us.”

Eventually, in-person recording could safely take place, Troll said.

With vaccines now widely and freely available, there are plans for some Whiskey Class live performances in the near future.

Snyder said the live shows have evolved to feature multiple musicians to better replicate the music without having to be overly reliant on pre-recorded music. Both Snyder and Troll said they’re hopeful that the future holds performances in Alaska.

“Alaska’s still a huge part of our identity,” Troll said. “There’s so much talent in Alaska. So much talent and energy. It’s in my DNA. It’s just who I am.”

• Contact Ben Hohenstatt at (907)308-4895 or Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.

More in News

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Aurora forecast for the week of April 15

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

Rep. Sara Hannan (right) offers an overview of this year’s legislative session to date as Rep. Andi Story and Sen. Jesse Kiehl listen during a town hall by Juneau’s delegation on Thursday evening at Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Multitude of education issues, budget, PFD among top areas of focus at legislative town hall

Juneau’s three Democratic lawmakers reassert support of more school funding, ensuring LGBTQ+ rights.

Rosemary Ahtuangaruak, mayor of the Inupiaq village of Nuiqsut, at the area where a road to the Willow project will be built in the North Slope of Alaska, March 23, 2023. The Interior Department said it will not permit construction of a 211-mile road through the park, which a mining company wanted for access to copper deposits. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times)
Biden shields millions of acres of Alaskan wilderness from drilling and mining

The Biden administration expanded federal protections across millions of acres of Alaskan… Continue reading

Allison Gornik plays the lead role of Alice during a rehearsal Saturday of Juneau Dance Theatre’s production of “Alice in Wonderland,” which will be staged at Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé for three days starting Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
An ‘Alice in Wonderland’ that requires quick thinking on and off your feet

Ballet that Juneau Dance Theatre calls its most elaborate production ever opens Friday at JDHS.

Caribou cross through Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve in their 2012 spring migration. A 211-mile industrial road that the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority wants to build would pass through Gates of the Arctic and other areas used by the Western Arctic Caribou Herd, one of the largest in North America. Supporters, including many Alaska political leaders, say the road would provide important economic benefits. Opponents say it would have unacceptable effects on the caribou. (Photo by Zak Richter/National Park Service)
Alaska’s U.S. senators say pending decisions on Ambler road and NPR-A are illegal

Expected decisions by Biden administration oppose mining road, support more North Slope protections.

Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, speaks on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives on Wednesday, March 13. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska House members propose constitutional amendment to allow public money for private schools

After a court ruling that overturned a key part of Alaska’s education… Continue reading

Danielle Brubaker shops for homeschool materials at the IDEA Homeschool Curriculum Fair in Anchorage on Thursday. A court ruling struck down the part of Alaska law that allows correspondence school families to receive money for such purchases. (Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)
Lawmakers to wait on Alaska Supreme Court as families reel in wake of correspondence ruling

Cash allotments are ‘make or break’ for some families, others plan to limit spending.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Wednesday, April 17, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Newly elected tribal leaders are sworn in during the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska’s 89th annual Tribal Assembly on Thursday at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall. (Photo courtesy of the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska)
New council leaders, citizen of year, emerging leader elected at 89th Tribal Assembly

Tlingit and Haida President Chalyee Éesh Richard Peterson elected unopposed to sixth two-year term.

Most Read