The idea for The Lonelyhearts’ new album, Age of Man, began with an argument – while on tour – about Jennifer Egan’s novel, A Visit From The Goon Squad. Egan constructs her narrative from a group of interconnected short stories that follow the history of a family over the course of several generations. Applying Egan’s structural technique, Age of Man developed into a song cycle in which each song would be its own story while building towards a larger narrative. What begins as a series of stories about interpersonal human error transforms into a dystopian world where vengeful radioactive bats first police and then punish mankind for its sins. And yet there are survivors who are left to rebuild in the wake of apocalypse: they are offered the opportunity to make good on lessons learned or doomed to make the same mistakes again. In its entirety Age of Man traces an alternative American history over three generations, exploring themes of progress, resource extraction, vigilantism, patriarchy, anarchism, sin, and love.
Inspired by the lyrical depth of The Mountain Goats and the DIY grandeur of Grandaddy, John Lindenbaum and Andre Perry formed The Lonelyhearts in 2003. Equally energized by a local scene that featured a wide array of bands like Film School, John Vanderslice, and The Coachwhips, Lindenbaum and Perry decided to make their mark by limiting themselves to just a 12-string acoustic guitar and a synthesizer in the live setting while employing more varied instrumentation in the studio. Having played in louder, wilder bands, the new format exacted a focus on narrative songwriting and making the most sound possible with just two instruments and two voices. What has evolved over the last 13 years is a distinct aesthetic, an atmospheric kind of Americana that is interested in telling familiar human stories with non-traditional sounds. Perry currently lives in Iowa City, Iowa, and Lindenbaum resides in Fort Collins, Colorado. Age of Man is their fourth full-length album.