By Brad Beenders
This season marks the release of Richmond Fontaine’s new album “We Used to Think the Freeway Sounded Like a River”. Only possible thanks to our partners: Decor in UK/Europe, ARRCO in USA and Nonzero in Australia.
Produced by JD Foster and Recorded by Larry Crane at Jackpot! this album represents RF at its apex. Willy Vlautin’s songwriting is better than ever and the band’s arrangements, everything from stadium rock to stripped down to nothing acoustic, accentuate the mood of the lyrics. The album opens with the title track, an easy bossa nova about a young couple trying to make an oasis out of an abandoned pool next to a freeway ramp. A short interlude leads to “You Can Move Back Here” a pop/rock plea to a friend to come back home to avoid being swallowed by the city. Next comes “The Boyfriends” a country/latin number that finds our protagonist realizing too late he has become what he hates. “The Pull” revolves around a man trying to quit the booze by taking up boxing, perhaps a little late in life, and features some fine cello and guitar work. Country rocker “Maybe We Were Both Born Blue” follows with a tale of a couple feeling they were born under a bad sign and features some tasty steel and guitar. Next is the near instrumental “Watch Out” a song with a simple message about heartbreak.
Side B (there will be vinyl) opens with “43″ a rocker about a guy trying to stay afloat in a shitstorm and shows off some deadly dueling guitars. “Lonnie” starts off big and drops down low to describe a friend in danger of becoming a write-off or worse. The acoustic “Ruby and Lou” just makes me cry, must be the cello. A song without words “Walking Back to Our Place at 3 a.m.” lightens things up a bit with some nice guitar picking. The penultimate track “Two Alone” is a tour de force about a damaged goods couple barely hanging on to their relationship and the music is equally turbulent (watch out for this one in a live set). Finally the bittersweet “A Letter to the Patron Saint of Nurses”; This long time couple has settled into a nice groove (like the music) and though the excitement of young love seems like a memory, he knows she sees enough pain at work and is content to not cause her more at home.
This album will be available for download on the release date Aug 17. For now check out/download the hit single.
See Brad Beender’s video for “You Can Move Back Here”