Stonegarden Records (label)
20 August 2021 (released)
08 October 2021
Being the cultural vortex that it is, Los Angeles is invariably home to musicians from every style, genre, and niche imaginable. Artists all flock to the area for the world-class studios and venues, which in turn sucks in all the related business of agents, publicists, stylists etc. etc. The faux grandeur of Hollywood makes it a lightning rod for dance-pop sensations from all corners but what is the true sound of L.A.? From the Southside, Compton and Long Beach have definitely made the city a cultural centre for hip hop. In terms of rock, the sound comes from that breezy West Coast attitude. Grinding away to make it but trying not to let the process harsh your mellow. Earnest singer-songwriters have been inspired to write countless hits about everyday human emotions in the City of Angels. The struggles to maintain a relationship long enough to start a family, navigating all the unexpected transitions, and taking time to enjoy what you have along the way.
Los Angeles folk trio The Furious Seasons bring a heartland Americana sensibility to the Golden State with light-heartedly wistful tunes about the lives of regular Angelenos. Led by David Steinhart's reflective songwriting, the trio which includes his brother Jeff and P.A. Nelson tastefully frames these tracks with the ebbing and flowing flourishes of true musical veterans. Like the rest of the world, the past year and a half had a great impact on the band. The lockdowns and political upheaval seeped into the songwriting, the album's title Home All Day, Home All Night a reference to our collective internment. What's more, the writing process had to adapt to the times. A group conditioned to perform together was forced to record separately in four different studios. In spite of the restrictions, in fact, because of them, the band discovered new talents. David accompanied his compositions on the drums, guitarist Paul expanded out his sonic palette, and bassist Jeff found his way to accompanying on piano and organ. The resulting album feels polished but lived in. Like a very well constructed house which has stood for a century. Weathering all the storms with countless stories to tell.
Steinhart echoes our collective disbelief at the outset of this life under a pandemic on the opener 'Is This Happening?'. “I can't get used to these empty streets on the morning drive/It's like someone took a remote control and hit pause on our lives” he astutely summarizes to the lackadaisical drum shuffle of a person with nowhere to go in a shutdown world. His breaking falsetto giving voice to the confused restraint that was suddenly forced on us all. More simple lyrical brilliance in the third verse: 'Long had dreams of a downtown, shiny and bustling/I was romanced by a high-rise and I almost bought it/But you know that the wind at my back is largely suburban”. A song of gentle restlessness, wondering when you'll be able to clearly see the road ahead again.
'We Finally Get Fall' is an ode to the island that is L.A. A town that rarely sees seasons, where change can't be marked by the changing weather, even as lives coalesce and fall apart. Slide guitar and Aubrey Richmond's violin merge for a melancholic backing to Steinhart's underlying tale of a breakup. 'The North Valley' pays tribute to the calm of the town's outskirts, far from the cacophony of the ever-churning Hollywood machine. The guitar lines sparkle with plinking harmonics like flashing stars in a pollution-free sky.
Late in the album, the band surprises with a reorganized cover of Bowie's classic 'Changes'. Instead of the plodding British piano that bobs along with the rhythm in the original, The Furious Seasons' take on the track embraces the band's signature swaying waltz time with homespun Americana acoustics. The result is a meter that toys with the timing, refreshing the song for ears that have heard the standard countless times. Bowie's hit was always a happy-wistful recollection on youth and the L.A. group's version further pulls on those heartstrings.
Home All Day, Home All Night is an eloquent exploration of a bizarre time in all our lives. The view of a group of gifted folk troubadours looking in on a sprawling metropolis coming to grips with a world shutdown. Steinhart's songwriting is honest, affecting, and a reflection on the complex nature of this seemingly superficial city.