L.A. Duo Mines Falls Release "From Behind Glass" Single & new LP
ABOUT THE ALBUM
It didn’t take a pandemic reaching American shores for brothers Carson and Erik Lund of Mines Falls to hone the art of self-reliance. Written and tracked through the fall and winter of 2018, their self-titled sophomore album, like Nepenthe (2018) before it, emerges from extensive and experimental sessions—carved out between long work days and film shoots—in the home studio they’ve developed together over the better part of a decade. Skirting the sonic expectations of a history of music forged in garages and bedrooms, however, Mines Falls instead summons up a dense and layered soundscape, equal parts warm chamber pop and eerie downtempo, with Carson Lund’s commanding voice a constant presence throughout. Beyond their recording capabilities, the Lund brothers also shoot, edit, and design nearly all of Mines Falls’ supplemental artwork and video content, finding shrewd use for the disciplines they studied in neighboring Boston art schools and only sharpened in the intervening years. “Carson went off to make films and I polished my skills as a designer, but music has always been that shared passion,” says Erik, who played drums in the brothers’ former band, Boston indie rock quartet Old Abram Brown. When differing life trajectories ultimately dissolved that group, the brothers shipped off to the west coast to explore new creative opportunities, finding inspiration in the Sierra mountain range and Mojave Desert—landscapes that, to New England boys, looked practically alien. After inheriting an upright piano from a neighbor, they wrote Nepenthe, a haunting suite of glacial ballads described by Earmilk as "beautiful, calming, cinematic and moving,” and an album that the band describes as “rooted in a very particular time and place.”
As prophesied in Nepenthe single “My New House,” the Lund’s Craftsman-style home in Hollywood was torn down by real estate developers months after the album’s release. Composed in a new Craftsman-style home ten minutes down the road, Mines Falls marks both a stylistic evolution and an ambitious leap in scope even as it retains piano as the heart and soul of the music. Continuing producer and multi-instrumentalist Erik Lund’s ongoing experimentation with electronic programming, the band’s second LP finds the looming atmosphere of anxious ambient noise and classical instrumentation established by Nepenthe now coupled with propulsive drum-machine backbeats and a flair for dramatic choruses. And where the intimate and confessional Nepenthe catalogued songwriter Carson Lund’s confrontation with a friend’s sudden passing and the end of a relationship, Mines Falls shifts toward a more panoramic perspective, tackling the ambiguity and despair of our contemporary moment through a succession of elliptical tales that toggle between political anger and wistful remembrance.
“As I was writing, a heroin epidemic was swallowing up communities in my home state while forest fires ravaged my new state,” recalls Carson, referring to the band’s New Hampshire origins and current Los Angeles residence. And fittingly, Mines Falls is bookended by songs that comment obliquely on these calamities, with “Passenger Door” imagining the scattered recollections of a man in the wake of his friend’s death by overdose and “Lifeboat” seeking refuge in a winter memory amidst the auburn smoke clouds of Southern California. Within these seemingly bleak poles, however, Lund’s elegiac lyrics touch on the pleasures of childhood memories (“Red Moon, Car Wreck”), the solace to be found in the fraying of a relationship (“Hey Mother”), and the enduring tonic of laughter (“Cowards”). In fact, Mines Falls is nothing if not a testament to the mind’s ability to resolve its own gloomy projections; as the anthemic “Nightingale” puts it: “fairy tale // comfort me // when all this shit comes suddenly.”
SINGLES & RELEASE CALENDAR
July 31 - Album Announce + "Hey Mother" Single + Video:
An exploration of solace which can be found in a fraying relationship.
Quote from Carson Lund: “Hey Mother” is the earliest song I wrote for the record, and therefore the one that’s most tied to the emotions that swirled around our previous album, Nepenthe. With that collection of songs, I was trying to write very honestly from a place of emotional turmoil, but this song is about landing in a state of acceptance after all of that. The “mother” here is less a reference to my own mother than to a stubborn omniscient spirit to whom I’m trying to communicate some kind of self-reckoning. You might say she’s my conscience as I try to will myself to concede the end of a relationship.
August 21 - "Red Moon, Car Wreck" single
Reflecting on the pleasures of childhood memories through a present day malaise.
Quote fom Carson Lund: I had been traveling quite a bit for my job when I wrote this song, touching on all corners of the country, finding myself in quiet towns I’d never heard of before, and not communicating with family and friends for long stretches. I crave this isolation and independence, but it also distances me from people, and “Red Moon, Car Wreck” attempts to connect who I’ve become with who I was as a child. Life is a series of comings and goings, but this song is about trying to stay in one place.
Sept 11 - "From Behind Glass" Single
From Behind Glass explores darker textures across a more sprawling odyssey than most of the record, culminating in a lush string arrangement.
Quote fom Carson Lund: In some ways this song epitomizes the sound we were gravitating towards with this album: angular, unsettling, and neither organic nor fully electronic. A wonderful musician from Chicago, Matchess, who also performed in a feature film I shot in the summer of 2019, plays the beautiful strings, which provide a counterpoint to Erik’s sharper analog synth sounds. Like several other songs on this album, the lyrics paint a portrait of a deteriorating relationship that’s a few parts autobiographical and several parts fiction.
ALBUM CREDITS Shaun Oppedisano - Vocal Engineering Mitchell Haeuszer - Piano Engineering Christopher Dwyer - Drum Engineering Carl Engstrom - Trombone James McGovern - Trombone / Trumpet Erin Milligan - Euphonium Stephen Liang Chun Spencer - Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Clarinet, Flute Whitney Johnson - Viola Joe Fiorillo - Cello Eric Dabdoub - Mixing Brian Arnold - Mastering Carson Lund - Written by, Produced by, Performed by Erik Lund - Written by, Produced by, Performed by Ron Shpindler - MGMT John Bogan - Art & Design