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Curt of ‘Curt’s new hat’ fame lands record deal, records album in cave


Curt Oren in Maquoketa Caves State Park -- photo by Chelsea Darter
Curt Oren in Maquoketa Caves State Park — photo by Chelsea Darter

It’s been almost a year since Curt Oren bought a billboard to announce his new hat. Unlike most hats, this one received international attention. And now, it’s gotten Oren and a friend a record deal.

Washington, D.C. label Bad Friend Records will release a 12-inch vinyl record of songs recorded in a cave. Oren and collaborator Nora Petran recorded seven songs (three of his, three of hers, one co-written) in Maquoketa Caves State Park.

Nora Petran in Maquoketa Caves State Park -- photo by Chelsea Darter
Nora Petran in Maquoketa Caves State Park — photo by Chelsea Darter

“We did two sessions, one the day before Thanksgiving and one on April 2,” Oren said.

Iowa City-to-Chicago transplant Izaak Thompson recorded the tracks.

“The acoustics in the cave are truly bonkers,” Oren said, “Izaak did an incredible job translating that to recorded sound.”

The label released this statement in a Facebook announcement yesterday, “What’s that you say? You wish we’d release more eccentric tunes recorded in a massive cave in Iowa??? Turns out wishes CAN come true!”

Nora Petran and Curt Oren recording in Maquoketa Caves State Park -- photo by Chelsea Darter
Nora Petran and Curt Oren recording in Maquoketa Caves State Park — photo by Chelsea Darter

Nora and Curt were welcomed to the label as the “newest bad friendlings.”

The album will be released this summer.

Make no doubt, Curt’s taking no chances with the compelling hat that has brought him so much notoriety. He’s got it in a special place.

Curt's New Hat -- photo by Curt Oren
Curt’s New Hat — photo by Curt Oren

Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV » editor@littlevillagemag.com

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