It starts with a choice, “Hold on tight, or let go and blow away with the wind.” With those opening lines on “Long Highway,” the first single from LeBarons debut full-length Summer Of Death, Chris MacDonald dares you to keep your grip or let loose, either way you’re in for a trip.
Summer Of Death (2018) is a milestone almost two years in the making. Production started in January, 2017 at John Dinsmore’s Lincoln County Social Club recording studio where previous magic was made by artists like The Strumbellas, Timber Timbre, The Wooden Sky, and Elliott Brood. This unhurried approach allowed the band imbue each song with its own unique character. The result is a rich, complex album that reveals itself with each listen.
Working with two JUNO-nominated and award winning producers John Dinsmore (Timber Timbre, The Strumbellas, PUP, NQ Arbuckle, Donovan Woods, Sarah Harmer); and Jason “Cone” McCaslin (Sun K, Operation MD, The Strumbellas, Sum 41), LeBarons have distilled their sound into a versatile spirit. Accessible, radio-friendly arrangements like “Quiet” and “Brand New Sound” mix seamlessly with moody cocktails like “Waste,” the title track “Summer Of Death,” and the lead single “Long Highway.” Both veteran producers are long-time collaborators with the band and each has carved a unique niche in the band’s sound: Dinsmore, dark and brooding; McCaslin, large and anthemic.
LeBarons are 100% independent and have never been involved with a record label or professional management. Dinsmore and McCaslin are long-time collaborators whose involvement arose from organic relationships and a mutual love of the music being created. Music at its best is a craft of passion.
This is LeBarons’ full-length album and takes the band into new territory as they push the boundaries of alt-country. Chris MacDonald’s lyrical storytelling is still center-stage, but now framed by arrangements soaked in reverb and drenched in feedback. The result is a dynamic album full of visceral emotion and tense with potential energy.
Summer Of Death is the sound of highways at night; passing cars in the rain; the wind blowing past an open window. Summer Of Death is the sound of a song fading out in the distance at the start of a long, strange trip. These are the sounds restless souls hear when everything else grows quiet.
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