In the latter months of this year’s winter, two Minnesota boys who have been making music together since the 8th grade found themselves in one of the strangest places you might find two Midwestern boys–Bakersfield, California. What transpired was something that could have only occurred in this setting. In a desert town settled by a mix of the descendants of Dustbowl refugees and Mexican fruit farmers, Alex Lindorff and I recorded a record in the living room of my apartment.
Fueled/inspired by our separate, yet congruous arduous travels out West, Jim Beam, and oversized bottles of cheap red wine, we recorded a record that neither of us thought we would write together. You see, Al and I have a long history of writing heavy rock and roll songs together–songs that one might consider four-on-the-floor, big, dumb rock. And we loved that! We were successful at it. We had years of experience doing it. But for this record it wasn’t very apropos of the situation.
We had no drums, no bass, and not even an electric guitar at our disposal. And how could we write a power-rock record when the aesthetic of our environment (both physically and emotionally-speaking) was simply Western. I mean, we were in Southwestern oil country USA! The streets here are named after old Country-Western legends, namely Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. Thus, our only gear run to Guitar Center consisted of purchases of a tambourine and a guitar slide.
We truly went Acoustic and Western for this one. And in the spirit of Western Americana music, the songs are quite fitting with themes of heartache, lonliness, the road, and existential crises. Yes, we have all the elements for a good Americana record. That being said, I must make the disclaimer that the utility of these elements was not to contrive or recreate an old Western record. They were simply the elements of our collective narrative. These are our experiences out West put to melody (With a bit of help from Patsy Cline and Merle Haggard). As we wrote, we quickly realized that unlike other records we had done in the past, this particular record was not a collection of songs, but truly a full, beginning-to-end record. In a download-one-song-at-a-time itunes milieu, we retroactively dipped into the era in which the Album was god. We created a story, consisting of an introduction, climax, and conclusion with embedded themes that run throughout. This is our history put to song. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you, Heartspill.
(This record is available for listening on this blog. If you would like a free download, please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org )
Of The Girl In Ramsey County
Today I Started Loving You Again (Merle Haggard)
Leaving On Your Mind (Patsy Cline)
Time To Make A Change:
I Don’t Like You (You’re An Asshole)
The Best Is Yet To Come