In 2006, Quentin Stoltzfus was forced to retire Mazarin, the dreamy, strummy Philadelphia-based project he debuted in 1999, due to threats from a litigious Long Island classic-rock band of the same name. If not for that, the new Light Heat album would be a Mazarin album, and could have come out years ago. The catalyst for Light Heat’s debut came from Stoltzfus’ friends and former tourmates the Walkmen. That band, minus singer Hamilton Leithauser, backs Stoltzfus on the LP, although Light Heat itself, like Mazarin, is essentially Stoltzfus and whomever he plays with. Stoltzfus will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on Light Heat.
Stoltzfus: A few years ago, I paid a visit to my former neighbor and distinguished friend Kurt Heasley from the Lilys who at the time was occupying a yurt near an ashram on the James River in a place called Yogaville, Va. I spent one night there in a torrential downpour and paid subsequent visits to make recordings with Kurt. At the time, I was designing a cabin for my parents’ farm in Virginia, and after many back-and-forth discussions, we ended up deciding to build a yurt of our own. We ordered a kit and built it on my birthday in 2010. It took all of five hours to erect the basic shell. I slept in it that night and have made regular visits since. Its thin walls make you feel like you’re immersed in the outdoors, and that’s part of the beauty of the place; living closer to nature, but with all of the amenities of modern life. It’s my studio “B.” I’ve dubbed it The Owl Farm because of the Screech and Great Horned Owls that occupy the land. It’s the place that I go to get isolated and do serious work.