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The title of the Portland, Oregon outfit HERS’ latest LP, Youth Revisited, may at first pass suggest a mood of nostalgia. Such a simplistic take, however, all but dissipates as the first notes of the album begin. This first song, “Bad”, finds frontwoman and songwriter Melissa Amstutz hauntingly repeating, “I’ve been so bad.”
As the much-hyped debut LP by Syracuse’s Perfect Pussy has already demonstrated this year, there’s a real power in unflinching emotional examination. However, in contrast to the cut-and-paste sonic of Say Yes to Love, Youth Revisited‘s musical range is far more refined and wide-spanning.
Saul Conrad grew up in a musical family and was trained in classical music from a very early age, receiving formal training for some 20 years. That education informs his super melodic and harmonically complex songs, which feel like mini revelations in the age of cookie cutter top 40 pop music. You know that you’re dealing with a special artist when they reference Kierkegaard as an influence on their music.
As the son of Alejandro Jodorowsky, Adan Jodorowsky had the advantage of running in creative circles early in life. James Brown instructed him in his first dance lesson and George Harrison gave him his first guitar. Jodorowsky learned his lessons well, bringing soul to his electro pop dance tunes. It’s all about pleasure on ADA. “I wanted something sweaty and gross. I wanted to feel the drugs on this album. I’m not a drug addict at all but I wanted people to feel that same kind of high in the music.”
Hans Chew doesn’t stop there as his piano style draws deeply from the playing of New Orleans masters and he clearly imbibed the grooves of classic British rock, such as Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones. Life & Love is a barn burning smoker of a record that’s simply irresistible. Now, we’re going to step assign and let Hans Chew tell you about the creation of the album.