The Lone Bellow recently announced their new album Then Came The Morning, to be released on January 27th, 2015. The album was produced by Aaron Dessner of The National and mixed by Peter Katis. Now the band is pleased to announce a coinciding tour that will begin February 23rd in Portland, Maine and cover much of the Mid-West and East Coast, including a stop in their current home town, Brooklyn, at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Odessa will perform as the opener for the entire tour. Tickets go on sale November 21st.
The band has given their fans a sneak peak of what’s to come with Then Came The Morning by releasing the title track via NPR and live companion video via Paste. Stereogum also offered up an advance listen of track “Fake Roses” for which they said “The Lone Bellow have made a fantastic leap here, distancing themselves from the post-Mumford hordes and proving that a certain class of stately indie rock is still capable of sounding fresh and vital. Listen up.”
Today, the band has also revealed the album cover for Then Came The Morning. With all three band-members hailing from the South, they wanted something that evoked their memories of that childhood – growing up with “fake roses on the mantle, Elvis postcards on the fridge” as they sing in “Fake Roses.” To capture this they sent photographer Mackenzie Rollins on a road trip through the region and she returned with what was the perfect visual companion to the songs on this album. Her photographs are featured not only on the album cover, but throughout the booklet and as the singles artwork as well.
The Lone Bellow will be on tour throughout 2015. More dates to be added soon!
1) Then Came The Morning
2) Fake Roses
4) Take My Love
5) Call To War
6) Watch Over Us
8) Heaven Don’t Call Me Home
9) If You Don’t Love Me
11) To The Woods
12) Cold As It Is
13) I Let You Go
NEW DATES IN BOLD AND WITH ODESSA SUPPORTING
Nov 18 – The Kessler Theater – Dallas, TX
Nov 19 – The Parish – Austin, TX
Nov 20 – Fitzgerald’s Downstairs – Houston, TX
Nov 21 – Sam’s Burger Joint – San Antonio, TX
Dec 6 – Modlin Center For The Arts – Richmond, VA
Dec 9 – 20th Century Theater – Cincinnati, OHDec 11 – The Canopy Club – Urbana, IL
Dec 12 – Stoughton Opera House – Stoughton, WI
Dec 13 – Shakespeare’s Lower Level – Kalamazoo, MI
Dec 14 – The Ark – Ann Arbor, MI
Dec 15 – Music Box Supper Club – Cleveland, OH
Jan 17 – Cayamo Cruise 2014- Miami to St. Barts to St. Croix – Miami, FL
Feb 23 – Port City Music Hall – Portland, ME
Feb 24 – ArtsRiot – Burlington, VT
Feb 26 – Petit Campus – Montreal, QC
Feb 27 – Lee’s Palace – Toronto, ON
Feb 28 – Club @ Stage AE – Pittsburgh, PA
Mar 1 – Radio Radio – Indianapolis, IN
Mar 3 – Turf Club – St. Paul, MN
Mar 4 – Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL
Mar 6 – Exit In – Nashville, TN
Mar 7 – Headliners Music Hall – Louisville, KY
Mar 8 – Old Rock House – St. Louis, MO
Mar 10 – WorkPlay Theatre – Birmingham, AL
Mar 11 – Terminal West – Atlanta, GA
Mar 13 – The Hamilton – Washington, DC
Mar 14 – The Southern – Charlottesville, VA
Mar 24 – Underground Arts – Philadelphia, PA
Mar 25 – Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY
Mar 26 – Music Hall of Williamsburg – Brooklyn, NY
Mar 27 – Paradise Rock Club – Boston, MA
MORE ABOUT THE LONE BELLOW
Then Came the Morning, the second album by the Southern-born, Brooklyn-based indie-folk trio the Lone Bellow, opens with a crest of churchly piano, a patter of drums, and a fanfare of voices harmonizing like a sunrise. It’s a powerful introduction, enormous and overwhelming, as Zach Williams, Brian Elmquist, and Kanene Pipkin testify mightily to life’s great struggles and joys, heralding the morning that dispels the dark night: “Then came the morning! It was bright, like the light that you kept from your smile!” Working with producer Aaron Dessner of the National, the Lone Bellow has created a sound that mixes folk sincerity, gospel fervor, even heavy metal thunder, but the heart of the band is harmony: three voices united in a lone bellow.
“The feeling I get singing with Zach and Brian is completely natural and wholly electrifying,” says Kanene. “Our voices feel like they were made to sing together.”
Long before they combined their voices, the three members of the Lone Bellow were singing on their own. Brian had been writing and recording as a solo artist for more than a decade, with three albums under his own name. Kanene and her husband Jason were living in Beijing, China, hosting open mic nights, playing at local clubs and teaching music lessons. Zach began writing songs in the wake of a family tragedy: After his wife was thrown from a horse, he spent days in the hospital at her bedside, bracing for the worst news. The journal he kept during this period would eventually become his first batch of songs as a solo artist. Happily, his wife made a full recovery.
When Kanene’s brother asked her and Zach to sing “O Happy Day” together at his wedding, they discovered their voices fit together beautifully, but starting a band together seemed impossible when they lived on opposite sides of the world. Brian soon relocated to New York and Kanene moved there to attend culinary school a couple years later. The three got together in their new hometown to work on a few songs of Zach’s, who had already been making the rounds in the local scene as a solo artist for several years. After hitting those first harmonies did they decide to abandon all other pursuits. Soon the trio was playing all over the city, although they considered Rockwood Music Hall on the Lower East Side to be their home. They opened for the Civil Wars, Dwight Yokam, Brandi Carlile and the Avett Brothers, and their self-titled debut, produced by Nashville’s Charlie Peacock (the Civil Wars, Holly Williams) and released in January 2013, established them as one of the boldest new acts in the Americana movement.
After two hard years of constant touring, the band was exhausted but excited. By 2014, they had written nearly 40 songs on the road and were eager to get them down on tape. After putting together a list of dream producers, they reached out to their first choice, the National guitarist Aaron Dessner, who has helmed albums by the L.A. indie-rock group Local Natives and New York singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten.
“It occurred to me that it would be fun to get together and make music with them,” says Aaron. “My main interest in producing records is community and friendship more than making money. I already do a lot of traveling and working with the National, so when I have to time to work with other artists, it should be fun and meaningful.”
“Aaron is just so kind,” Zach says. “And he has surrounded himself with all these incredibly talented people, like Jonathan Low, the engineer. His brother Bryce [Dessner, also a guitarist for the National] wrote these amazing brass and string arrangements, and he got some of his friends to play with us.”
Dessner and the Lone Bellow spent two weeks recording at Dreamland in upstate New York, a nineteenth-century church that had been converted into a homey studio. The singers found the space to inspire the emotional gravity necessary for the material and the acoustics they were looking for. (For Kanene, Dreamland had one other bonus: “I’m a big Muppets fan, and it looks exactly like the church where Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem lived.”)
Aaron set them up in a circle in what had once been the sanctuary, with microphones hanging in the rafters to capture the sound of their voices bleeding together. Most of the vocals were recorded in single takes, a tactic that adds urgency to songs like “Heaven Don’t Call Me Home” and “If You Don’t Love Me.” “There were a couple of times when somebody sang the wrong word or hit a bad note, and we just had to keep going,” says Zach, who says that recording “Marietta” in particular was daunting-especially the moment near the end when he hits an anguished high note, bends it even higher, and holds it for an impossibly long time. It’s a startling display of vocal range, but it’s also almost unbearably raw in its emotional honesty.
“‘Marietta’ is probably the darkest song on the whole record,” Zach explains, “and it’s based on something that happened between my wife and me. The band was getting ready to record that song when all of a sudden my wife showed up with our youngest baby. It was a great surprise, a beautiful moment. So I was able to go out and sing that song, knowing she was there to help me carry the moment.”
“These are true stories,” says Brian. “These aren’t things we made up. We tried to write some songs that had nothing to do with our personal stories, but we just didn’t respond to them. But we’re best buds, so we know each others’ personal stuff and trust each other to figure out what needs to be said and how to say it.” Case in point: Brian wrote “Call to War” about his own struggles during his twenties, but gave the song to Kanene to sing. “The content is painful and brutal,” she says, “but the imagery, the vocals, they build something delicate and ethereal. That kind of contrast illuminates the true beauty and power of a song.”
Says Brian, “We do this one thing together, and we carry each other. Hopefully that makes the listener want to be a part of it. It becomes a communal thing, which means that there’s never a sad song to sing. It’s more a celebration of the light and the dark.”
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