Flora Recording & Playback is a humble, brick building in Portland, Oregon, nestled between two residential neighborhoods. The heavy gray doors look unassuming, but inside lies a world of music magic. On a recent weekend, Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney was at the studio, admiring guitars on the cluttered walls. Tucker Martine, the studio’s owner, was working nearby, and Brownstein was surprised to find her lost guitar hanging on the wall. Brownstein and Tucker have been making music together for over thirty years and recently released an album, “Little Rope,” while navigating personal tragedy. Brownstein’s grief had a profound impact on the music, giving it new depth and meaning.
Sleater-Kinney’s music is characterized by the unique interplay between Brownstein and Tucker, with precise collisions of guitar distortion and Tucker’s distinctive voice. The addition of drummer Janet Weiss intensified their sound, creating a truly unique musical experience. “Little Rope” is the band’s fourth album since reuniting, and the second since Weiss left, strengthening the bond between Brownstein and Tucker. When tragedy struck, Brownstein turned to music to cope, spending hours in the studio, adding new elements and layers to the existing songs. The album took on a new form, reflecting the emotional journey she was going through.