Lean Year: Sides

Lean Year SKU: 42816188
Lean Year: Sides

Lean Year: Sides

Lean Year SKU: 42816188

Format: VINYL LP

Regular price $24.98

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Title: Sides
Artist: Lean Year
Label: Western Vinyl
Product Type: VINYL LP
UPC: 843563149744
Genre: Rock

There is a moment on Sides, the new album from Richmond, Virginia-based duo LeanYear, in which a hospital room floor is filled with white chrysanthemums. This imagery,based on an opiate-induced hallucination experienced by vocalist Emilie Rex's motheras she recovered from surgery, is a perfect encapsulation of the band's second album:dreamlike and beautiful, yet burdened with cold, stark reality. Sides is a harrowingjourney through realms of grief and memory, a meditation woven into a tapestry of synthpads, woodwinds, and Rex's instantly recognizable voice. The duo of Rex and Rick Alverson-who also works as a film director (The Mountain,Entertainment, The Comedy)-originally set out to write an album about conflict, butduring the writing and recording process, they were confronted with a number ofpersonal tragedies. Alverson lost both of his parents in rapid succession, Rex's motherreceived a cancer diagnosis, and the couple's beloved family dog, Orca, died. Theseevents transformed the album into an exploration of loss-an attempt at processing thepainful, complex, and private emotions that bubble to the surface when confronted withdeath. "We thought we'd do a concept album called Sides where we could reflect on allof the division in the world, and some in our own families, but then COVID transformedeverything/everyone, and we suffered our own specific losses. The record becameabout loss and grief," Rex explains. "In this way, the title Sides was still appropriate: ourindividual grief and collective grief, the margins of before and after, the act and feelingof during and enduring. It felt like straddling a threshold between two opposingsides-the moment before conflict and the moment after it passes, life and death, the actof living and the memory of the act. Grief feels like a contention between what you knewand what you now know, and often both feel real and unreal at once. "Sides-produced by Alverson alongside Erik Hall (In Tall Buildings) and featuringcontributions from Elliot Bergman (Nomo, Wild Belle) and Joseph Shabason (Destroyer,The War on Drugs)-has a distinctly cinematic quality, perhaps due in part to Alverson'sother career. Moments of jazz, slowcore, and dirgelike R&B find their way into the sorrowful, ambient suite, lulling the listener into a state of calm while the lyrics speak of ghosts,childhood, and mortality. Despite the gravity of the subject matter, Sides succeeds inmastering a balancing act between pathos and pop. Each song is indelible andhaunting, with melodies that have the kind of broad appeal reminiscent of Karen Dalton,Aldous Harding, and FKA twigs.

1.1 Legs
1.2 Nitetime
1.3 End
1.4 The Trouble with Being Warm
1.5 Panes
1.6 Bend
1.7 Bad Woman
1.8 Marriage of Heaven and Hell
1.9 Home
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