Later this month (or early in May) we’re going to be making an announcement about our summer tour. After putting out LNOE, we were able to play a handful of awesome shows, but out outside lives (primarily school and work) prevented us from hitting the road in the way we wanted to. Now, we’re going to do a much longer stretch of shows, and play in new cities as well (looking at you, California). Stay tuned, as follow us on our social media sites to see when the official announcement is made, and when we’ll be in your hometown.
We made #lnoe at Interlace Audio in Portland, OR. The process of finding this studio took longer than anyone expected. In the past, we’d just made our demoes ourselves, but we wanted to expand our sonic palette with all of the trapping of a real studio. Interlace- and Portland, for that matter- loomed large over the production of the record. We worked with Stephan Hawkes, an engineer who primarily works with progressive, hardcore, and metal bands.
Nothing pushed the boundaries of what we made more than having someone from outside our comfort zone tracking our songs. The combination of Stephan’s tendencies with our (albeit pop-ier) tendencies practically defines our sound. We came out with a shimmering pop record that also had plenty of hard edge. Each song has it’s own distinct style, but also ties back into the overall sound of the album. Listen to it here: http://hemlocklane.bandcamp.com
Whenever I tell someone that Hemlock Lane is an independent band (or, more often, they ask which label we’re affiliated with), the first question they usually have is “Wow, how do you do it? Like, how do you put songs on iTunes and stuff?” Sure, I’ve gotten used to explaining the finer points of Tunecore by now, but it always seems to me that being an independent band means more emphasis is placed on the business side of things than what we actually do it for: our music.
Truthfully, though, being label-less was a real decision we made, and and important one to who we are. In the past, we’ve been contacted by a number of “labels, managers, agents, and A&R workers,” but none of the conversations we had seemed like they would lead anywhere promising. We decided that in order to make the record we wanted, we needed to do things ourselves. That means the promotion, distribution, and artwork design was all taken care of by the five of us. Sometimes it feels like we’re nearing the point where the workload is bit much, but no one knows what the future holds. I’d be content if people just stopped asking me how iTunes worked, though.
We did it. We put out a record. It’s something many people, including ourselves, doubted at times. But after nearly 6 months of build-up, we finally released “Last Night On Earth,” to nearly universal positive reception. And now we wait and see what happens next.
I wanted to explain, at least a little bit, what LNOE is, and where it came from. Beyond the outward appearances of its sleek production (courtesy of Stephan Hawkes), I feel like it’s by far our most dynamic offering, and the best representation of who we are. The songs were written entirely in collaboration: Sometimes I would write lyrics and Isaac would compose the music, or sometimes Natty would write the words and John would come up with the chords, etc. What’s more, the songs were written over a rather large span of time, almost two years. But that adds to the uniqueness of each track, because these songs were penned at different times, by different combinations of people. They have very unique content, but it’s all tied together by the same five people.
It’s certainly not perfect, but that’s not a problem. Every song ebbs and flows in a human way, an organic way. And every song tells a story (not necessarily an obvious one), with each song being different. More or less, we feel like it’s worth listening to, and hopefully connecting with. First things first, you should probably just buy it, though. We know you won’t regret it.
If you’ve navigated here, that means you’ve found our brand new website (or just love looking up street names on WordPress). We’re Hemlock Lane, and we’re really stoked that this exists, but even more stoked that people are engaging in it. Hailing from Oregon, we play alternative/indie/pop music, and we’re the midst of putting out our first EP. After two years of writing, demoing, and touring the planet, we’re proud to release the “Last Night on Earth” EP, recorded with Stephan Hawkes (Icarus the Owl, Jonny Craig, Exotic Animal Petting Zoo, etc.). By this point, we’ve put out the record, as well as a music video, and to top it all off a website.
This is an endeavor that’s nearly 3 years in the making, that started in various high school music classes. We were 5 very different people, who decided to start a band in search of the typical music industry trappings. I think that lends to the way our record sounds, though: We’re a band with very diverse tastes in music, that wrote some pop songs, and recorded them with a hard rock/metal producer. Our sound is hard to categorize, and we love that. Almost as much as we love you all.