Music

PREMIERE: Lesser Animals offer up an album drenched in indie-rock salvation

Boston-based band Lesser Animals offer up an album stamped in the isolation-boom of releases, acknowledging struggle and rejoicing banality.

A labour of love for project commander James Sanderson, Lesser Animals has seen twelve years of reformation. Dripping in honest lamentation and wondering, he reunited with members of seven years ago to shed light on the story of collaboration that started in Scranton, Pennsylvania’s thriving scene back in 2008.

Brilliantly referenced in the band’s bio, The Feeling Is Real revisits “times of anguish rendered into a burnished, if a little scarred, sonic road trip.” A record of melodic soundscapes and fool-proof musicianship, the group have melded their talents with seamless decisiveness. The Feeling is Real denotes what it means to be a modern artist. Challenging and experimental tones follow classic structure and the end result is not far from pure escapism.

Lesser Animals
Photo: Rory Brett

Indie rock, or guitar pop rock as it’s been known, is a broad term. But as you analyse its roots in independent American music, Lesser Animals have quintessentially nailed the brief. Yet just as you begin to settle into the chosen form, they shake you awake and into the present tense of modern experimental charm. Great Lakes nestles in with acoustic rhythms of familiarity and comfort before a brass section builds and delights. Sour tones spark tension but allow new threads of nuance.

The song For Real is not surprisingly a perfect depiction of what the record explores. The forlorn narrators navigate a soft optimism and gentleness. The arrangement is watery and cyclical, until it’s not. Humming saxophone and slinky guitar hone in for the fade effect carries into the next track. Huntress is the happy hero of The Feeling is Real. Twangy, riff-able slurs incite a Western flavour and bring home the wanderlust feeling mentioned in their self-described road-trip sentimentality.

 

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Mastered by James Krivchenia (Big Thief), the record features collaborators Mike T. Kerr, Noel Friesen, Zach Wheeler, and producer Kim Wheeler. Gooey with fluidity and at times overwhelming melancholic, Lesser Animals never shy from the truth of the human experience. The perfection of the production on this record will zap you back to glowing reality of what music-feeling has to offer.

Enjoy all ten tracks of The Feeling Is Real on Soundcloud below: