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The Lonelyhearts — Years In The Great Interior (2013)

 The Lonelyhearts — Years In The Great Interior (2013)

The Lonelyhearts Years In The Great Interior
People who believe too much in the primacy of words sometimes lose touch with the music, but The Lonelyhearts keep things well in balance. 
Formed: early 2000s in San Francisco
Location:  Fort Collins, Colorado and Iowa City, Iowa
Album release: June 4, 2013
Record Label: Maximum Ames Records
Duration:     38:47
Tracks:
01. Princes of Rubble     (2:52)
02. Autumn Percussion     (3:20)
03. Taking You With Me     (4:11)
04. Welcome Center: Lorain     (4:00)
05. The California Oak Mortality Task Force     (4:12)
06. Alexander Palace     (4:15)
07. Queen City of the Lakes     (4:03)
08. Pass Like Night     (3:48)
09. Multi-Unit Housing Makes Bad Neighbors     (4:30)
10. Union     (3:37)
John Lindenbaum (vocals, guitar)
Andre Perry (vocals, keyboards)
Website: http://www.thelonelyhearts.net/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/lonelyheartssf#!
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Lonelyhearts/150395844986475
¤  The ten songs on Years in the Great Interior flesh out different characters and sounds, yet all of them are connected by a distinct, purposeful vision. In this way, the album unfolds like a collection of powerful short stories: each song plays out a poignant narrative and, musically, the arrangements are varied but cohesive. The album’s centerpiece consists of two songs about Lorain, Ohio (birthplace of Toni Morrison and the location of her novel The Bluest Eye). “Welcome Center: Lorain” pulls its story from an essay by writer Nick Kowalczyk concerning his return to Lorain over a dark New Year’s Eve to find a former classmate the lead suspect in a triple-murder case. Only slightly less grim, “Queen City of the Lakes” chronicles the parallel dissolution of a friendship and the fading Rust Belt city in which it was forged. Building outward from these two songs, the album primarily focuses on personal and local struggles more so than the macro/global concerns of the band’s last album, 2008’s Disaster Footage at Night. There is the confused sexuality of the Jonathan Ames-inspired “Pass Like Night”, the tortured infidelity of “Autumn Percussion”, and the after-hours missed connection of “The California Oak Mortality Task Force.”
¤  Years in the Great Interior follows up 2008’s Disaster Footage at Night which has been featured on NPR’s All Songs Considered and received a warm review from The Owl Mag.
¤  “The Lonelyhearts channels the soul of Neil Young and the electronic depth of Grandaddy…the duo churns out some pure authentic Americana that sounds pretty and feels momentous,” said The Owl Mag’s Jeff Braco.
¤  Daytrotter.com, which with The Lonelyhearts have recorded two sessions, described the band as “somber and heartbreaking as those of a Casiotone For the Painfully Alone song, but the people in them seem like they are less submissive to the circumstances and more willing to run through some walls.”
¤  Musically, the record finds The Lonelyhearts experimenting with a fresh array of sounds. While the focus of the live show has always been the arresting minimalism of just the band’s two members on stage, their albums explore more complex arrangements. From the MBV-esque pitch-bends of “Multi-Unit Housing Makes Bad Neighbors” to the swirling atmospheric folk of “Union,” each song on Years in the Great Interior opens up its own distinct world of sound. The music consistently interacts with lyrics in surprising ways: The upbeat, surf-rock sound of “Princes of Rubble” belies the nihilism of post-earthquake Haitian gangsters, the bubbling synthesizers of “Alexander Palace” comfort doomed modern-day aristocrats, and the down-tempo electronic music of “The California Oak Mortality Task Force” casts a traditional folk song in new sonic surroundings.
¤  Years in the Great Interior was written as the two members of this formerly Bay Area-based band fully settled into new homes — John Lindenbaum in Fort Collins, CO, and Andre Perry in Iowa City, IA. The songs were refined on tour as the band traveled around the Midwest, playing several strings of shows in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, and Wisconsin. Taking the songs from their spare origins — 12-string acoustic guitar, keyboard, and two voices — The Lonelyhearts recorded the album in the basement of Lindenbaum’s Fort Collins house and then brought the tracks to Iowa City for mixing and mastering with engineers John Svec (Greg Brown, Bo Ramsey) and Colin Ritchie (Emperors Club). The result is their tightest album yet — an accomplished synthesis of stunning lyrical narratives and remarkable music.
Fortaken: http://thedoctortjeckleburgreview.com/
In french:
Un album à l'écoute agréable, à découvrir.
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REVIEW
By Kent Williams; May 22
Album cover by Katherine Newbegin (photo) and Becky Nasadowski (design).
While the Lonelyhearts performed at Mission Creek Festival, I told our intrepid publisher Matt Steele “You can’t beat English Majors for songwriters.” People who believe too much in the primacy of words sometimes lose touch with the music, but The Lonelyhearts keep things well in balance. The keening edge of John Lindenbaum’s voice expresses the part of the yearning that would be lost in between the bare words. Andre Perry is, of course, multi-talented (full disclosure: he’s written for Little Village on and off, and as a founding producer of Mission Creek Festival and executive director of the Englert Theatre he often works closely with us) and his resonant, lower-pitched voice adds its own wry spin, both as lead singer and singing harmony.
“He’s given up, drives mom berserk, but a father’s still a father even if his heart won’t work,” Andre sings in “Welcome Center Lorain” and it’s a main strength of the Lonelyhearts’ lyrics: conversational, succinct, complete sentences that say more than they seem to at first. The melodies are kept pretty plain but well furnished with evocative chord changes.
“The drinks were strong enough to blur the blather of coke speak. Faces grew sour and tempers hot,” from “The California Oak Mortality Task Force” sums up a certain kind of party gone wrong. The rest of the song mixes trees dying and relationships coming unraveled with a simplistic beat and synth grind, filigreed with finger-picked guitar. There’s not much drumming here, which gives the songs a certain West Coast pop-rock mellowness that never goes limp.
Is Years in the Great Interior a collection of autobiographical short stories set to music, or songs with literary ambition? Both and neither. While you can talk about the music and words separately, they’re really inseparable parts of the whole. Music bypassess the intellect and goes straight to the heart, but the words refine and hone the edge of the feeling. There’s a distinct emotional flavor to this album but don’t ask me to explain. Its best expression is this 39-minute collection of songs.Little Village
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Discography:
Make Yourself At Home (2004)
Dispatch (2005)
The Christmas Day EP (2005) (John Lindenbaum solo EP)
The Four-Wheel Drive E.P. (2008) Three Ring Records
Disaster Footage at Night (2008) Three Ring Records
Harlequin Bands (Single) (2008) Three Ring Records
Years in the Great Interior (2013) Maximum Ames RecordsThe Lonelyhearts / Photo by Sandy Dyas © Photo credit:  Sandy Dyas

The Lonelyhearts — Years In The Great Interior (2013)

 

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