Tape Recorder is the second album from Nashville's Lionlimb, the project of Stewart Bronaugh and Joshua Jaeger. The record is a collection of six tracks written by Bronaugh after their second European tour in the fall of 2016, primarily on piano in Columbia University practice rooms. After having collaborated with a friend who played cello, the Bronaugh and Jaeger began expanding into scoring music for violins and bass clarinet.
Having been the first time he scored music by hand, Bronaugh looked to 70's minimalist composers for research. After recording the entire album live, the resulting six tracks of Tape Recorder are reflective, soulful, and based around the themes of love, loss, heartache, friends, and family. Bronaugh recalls an incident that inspired the album's title track, "Tape Recorder," from his youth when a friend of his collapsed during gym class and went into a 2 week-long coma due to a heart condition. His teacher told everyone to make cassette tapes of themselves singing songs to help him wake up. This ended up being one of the experiences that inspired Bronaugh to continue writing music as a means of connecting, healing, and having hope.
On the flip side, songs like "Clover" on the album also deal with some of the struggles that come with writing music, such as experiencing self-doubt, isolation, obsession, and competition. The minimal, bare-bones live recording of the album and collaborative orchestration of the music give Tape Recorder a deeply personal and tangible beauty.