It was 2006, and the DaVinci Code was all the rage. Twitter was just being launched, and Steve Jobs had yet to tell us why we all needed this thing called an iPhone.
That was also the last time Farewood, the Meriden band anchored by husband-wife team of Lou and Leah Lorenzo, released an album. “Wings Of Gold,” released earlier this year, keeps with their trend of releasing albums in six year intervals.
Lou says their 2000 release “Safely Out Of Reach” drew attention from regional press, and even a cross-Atlantic phone call from the manager of the Cocteau Twins. Getting the follow up album out was a little more difficult, as they credit various studio and production issues with keeping “Figures In Shadows,” in limbo until 2006.
“We had all the momentum from Safely Out Of Reach, and it kind of ended right there, with trying to go that bigger studio level.” Lou said. “It took the wind out of our sails.”
Soon after the 2006 release came the couple’s first of two daughters, along with a hiatus. It was a request by Lou’s sister to to play her wedding that even made the two consider a serious return. A chance encounter in WalMart with original drummer Kyle McCarthy and the addition of guitarist Eddie Diaz brought the group back together.
“Wings Of Gold” guides the listener through a forest of layered soundscapes, with underbrush of hushed tones and illuminated groves of bold vocal melodies.
Reconciling a new life outlook with their darker, more pensive songwriting style presented an interesting combination. Leah and Lou say “Wings Of Gold” was originally intended to be far more cheerful and upbeat, but the writing process left the tone somewhere in the middle.
“We’ve always been drawn to the darker aspects of life. When you have kids you almost notice the bad things more…” said Leah. “You have to be able to find things in this world that are still bright and pure, and not just believe that it’s all hopeless.”
Some songs like “Be Still The Blackness” wrap themselves in heavy cloaks of Slowdive-style reverb that highlight colors of optimism among the sonic threads. “Fruit Trees” also keeps a brighter tone before descending into “The Witch,” a morose allegory that directly confronts fatherly failure, which Lou said is now his greatest fear.
“Those are the kinds of things that are in your mind when you’re trying to live a creative life and life of responsibility too,” Lou said.
Responsibility is taking precedence, though there’s no question the Lorenzos will keep Farewood happening in some shape through the future.
“The way I look at is, just play and take it day by day, keep it going another day, another week, another year, until it’s time to just completely stop.” said Lou. “But I don’t think I’ll ever completely stop.”
Farewood play Two Boots in Bridgeport Thursday, Aug. 2 with If Not For Dreaming, and Wallypalooza at PNA Park Sunday, Aug. 12
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