On sale Thursday 19th September, 11am.
Loving is the collaboration of David Parry and brothers, Lucas and Jesse Henderson. The
band came together several years ago as a result of their shared summers planting trees in the capitalist ruins of western Canada’s forests. The seven tracks that came to form Loving’s
eponymous debut EP were written and recorded between Victoria and Toronto in the winter
of 2015. The collection of lo-fi psychedelic folk songs found success online and the band
amassed an organic fanbase.
Thus inspired to continue the project, Jesse and David decamped to Gabriola Island in the spring of 2017 to begin work on new material. There, they set up a recording studio in Jesse and Lucas’ late grandmother’s seaside home and demoed the songs that would form the backbone of If I Am Only My Thoughts.
Due out January 31st, 2020 on Last Gang Records, If I Am Only My Thoughts is Loving’s first full-length album. With lyrics written by both Jesse and Lucas, the lush, homespun collection of songs was recorded to tape, mixed, and mastered by David in his self-described “cold, dismal” basement studio in Victoria. To contrast, these songs are balmy and inviting, a series of open-ended questions that circle the uncertainties of existence. “Am I living my life as if I’m flying a kite/ Without a string, without any meaning?” Jesse sings on the breezy lead single “Nihilist Kite Flyer.”
“Most of the songs started simply, from a dream, a journal entry, or reading notes, and often they’d end up taking on a fictive element,” Jesse says. Existential anxieties underlie many of the songs on If I Am Only My Thoughts. On the album’s opener “Visions,” our narrator seeks out some semblance of freedom within the confines of daily life. Over a placid melody that is accented by a Wurlitzer piano, he arrives at a simple but liberating revelation: “It’s the life I’m bound to live/ Without ever knowing why.” Moments of levity such as this abound, offering solace to listeners who have found themselves caught in similar silos of thought. For example, on “Lately In Another Time,” the narrator reassures us that “what you’ve been feeling won’t stick around.”
While the production on If I Am Only My Thoughts inspires a sense of ease, it is deceptively intricate. “The EP was a good point of reference for us, production-wise. We were able to hone in on certain aspects of our sound and heighten what really felt like it was working,” David says. The underlying tape hiss and handcrafted aesthetic heard on Loving is still present, and that lends the album intimacy. Take the instrumental track “January,” which sounds like a harsh winter’s day spent in front of a fireplace as a crystalline piano is warmed by a string arrangement written and played by collaborator Colin Nealis. Later, the upbeat
Lucas-penned “Write A River” integrates the accordion-like heaving of a melodian,
underscored by a percussive pitter-patter that ebbs and flows like a changing tide.“
” Jesse says. On If I Am Only My Thoughts, those looming questions go largely unanswered. They are fodder for further contemplation, delivered with a peaceful naturalism in the vein of contemporaries like Bedouine and Kevin Morby. This album offers listeners a space to ruminate on life’s uncertainties and acknowledge the often strange journey of being alive. That sentiment is relayed perfectly on the title track: “Adrift like light upon a riverbed, I’m going somewhere I imagine/ At least in my head, in my head, in my head.”