Release Date: 06/04/2013
Who are The Lonelyhearts? Well, we’d love to tell you, but they don’t want you to know. The Lonelyhearts are a man in a mask, a woman behind a curtain. All you see is an outline, or maybe the edge of a thin smile. And that’s the point. The Lonelyhearts aren’t about themselves, they’re about the characters they embody when they make sound. The Lonelyhearts tell stories when they sing, and the songs on Years in the Great Interior aren’t pulled from the pages of a diary.
The ten songs on this record 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.”
“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’s songs 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.”
- Princes of Rubble
- Autumn Percussion
- Taking You With Me
- Welcome Center: Lorain
- The California Oak Mortality Task Force
- Alexander Palace
- Queen City of the Lakes
- Pass Like Night
- Multi-Unit Housing Makes Bad Neighbors
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.
Each LP, produced on high quality virgin vinyl, comes with a unique download code for a free digital version of the album.
Both the LP and CD version of the album are designed with wonder and precision by Becky Nasadowski of White Wire Studio.
You can also order a digital copy if that’s the way you like it. A unique download code will be sent to your email address, giving you access to 3 downloads of the album.
Years in the Great Interior features the photography of Katherine Newbegin. Learn more about this incredible artist right here.
The Lonelyhearts’ Andre Perry wrote an essay for The Rumpus inspired by the making of this album and the following tour. Read that here for a bit more insight into the minds that created this beautiful music.
“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.” Kent Williams, Little Village Magazine
“The [Lonelyhearts] display influences of Springsteen and Radiohead, and marry the two quite well.” Josh Terzio, Music Defined
“Full marks to The Lonelyhearts for this first great album of the summer. Years in the Great Interior will grow on you instantly.” Popdose.com
“With Years in the Great Interior, The Lonelyhearts have managed to make a supremely confident album that manages to leave their own stamp on the genre with haunting harmonies, poignant lyrics, and a truly unique perspective.” Jeremy Hofffman, The Milk Carton
“It seems most of the artists I really like these days have to work day jobs, fight real battles in the real world. And maybe this explains why all of this feels so pure. I mean, who really wants to hear Springsteen or some other millionaire complain about how tough it is out there. As the Minutemen once sang: “Too may liars singing songs.” That line does not apply here.” The Fire Note
“Lindenbaum and Perry make for an incredibly balanced team with an infectious sound that grows on the listener without fail. The stories woven throughout the lyrics give the record an indescribable emotional attraction with imaginative rhythms and beautiful harmonies.” Scene Magazine
The record comes with a download card packaged in it! You’ll use this to access your digital version. Thank you!