At the album's release party in a friend's Chelsea apartment on Friday night, Bartlett again split the bill with some well-known musical pals. Hunched over a grand piano and accompanied by a string quartet, he performed a handful of songs from The Conformist before dismissing his accompanists and inviting up some other musicial guests: Sean Lennon and his comely girlfriend Charlotte Kemp Muhl; honey-throated chanteuse Jennifer Charles (of Elysian Fields); musician-cum-performance artist Justin Bond (he of Kiki and Herb fame); and folk songstress Dawn Landes. Oh yeah -- Bryce Dessner of The National lent some guitar accompaniment while cross-legged on the floor, and Sufjan Stevens' trumpet player C.J. Camerieri contributed some well-placed solos from the couch.
The creative camaraderie seemed too perfect to be true -- and then the host revealed that Bartlett's first visit to the apartment had been for a musical salon held there. Suddenly, Doveman's come-as-you-will composition made a lot more sense.