Release date: November 5
Lo Fine is the indie/slow core/americana band and recording project started in the late 1990’s in Northampton, Massachusetts by singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Kevin O’Rourke.
In the past 15 years, O’Rourke and Co. have been consistently writing and releasing beautiful, literate, contemplative and meditative material that has been described as “committed to the notion that there’s a place for popular music that values the sublime and restrained over the raw and showy.” (Boston Globe). Beginning with the self titled debut EP in 1999, and the first full length, “Nine” the following year, Lo Fine has been well received, described as “utterly beautiful alt-country that has earned them a devoted following in New England, where newspapers regularly name them one of the region’s most treasured acts.” (Hybrid)
After a bad bike accident sidelined O’Rourke for most of 2002, he then moved to Ireland for a year where he continued to work on the follow up to “Nine” (2007’s “Not For Us Two”), which was praised as an “engaging folk Americana album. The mood of its gently reflective and often lovely songs…ranges from hushed to haunting,
mellow to melancholic.” (Mojo) While working on that album, he released two EP’s, played bass on Lloyd Cole’s 2005 album “Antidepressant”, and was a fixture in (ex-Miracle Legion singer) Mark Mulcahy’s live band from 2001-2006, adding bass, guitar, and backup vocals. O’Rourke also played bass and guitar for fellow Northampton, MA indie-rockers Spouse.
Following the release of “Not For Us Two”, O’Rourke continued to traverse the US (as a solo performer) by van, bus , and pickup truck, and toured to almost 40 countries, mostly hired by other bands. In the periods of rest, as well as on the road, He started work on this current release, “Want Is A Great Need”. The bulk of which was recorded in Truro, MA, during the quiet off-season at the end of Cape Cod, where O’Rourke has called home for the past 7-8 years. The same area was chosen by the likes of Edward Hopper, Norman Mailer, Mary Oliver, and countless other artists and writers for it’s stark beauty and relative isolation.
Regarding the widespread travel, and subsequent seclusion, O’Rourke explains, “It re-focused me on what I love the most, and where I started, which was writing songs and recording them at home, or at least by myself, as best I could, not worrying about whether or not the track was destined for an album. I got back to writing and recording for myself on my Tascam 234 cassette 4- track, as well as utilizing the advances in technology that allowed me to just open up my laptop in a hotel room somewhere, and capture something that I came up with while I was traveling.” The next step was to add onto these “skeletons” of songs, as he called them, with the help of engineer José Ayerve, and a host of other talented friends, including Peyton Pinkerton (Silver Jews, Pernice Brothers, New Radiant Storm King), Matt Sutton (Malarkies, Ida), Nina Violet (Willy Mason), Bruce Tull (Scud Mountain Boys), and Mark Schwaber (Lloyd Cole’s Small Ensemble). Most of it done in Truro, with additional recording done in Brooklyn, Western Massachusetts, Portland (ME), and Martha’s Vineyard.
Fleshed out from the place the songs started, The recordings were made into a beautiful album, start to finish, sounding every bit like a Lo Fine album, yet exploring new territory, sonically. Expanding on the “sparse acoustic songs and general melancholy that has become Lo Fine’s trademark” (Alarm), Want Is A Great Need displays a willingness to experiment with new sounds, instrumentation, and even textures that employ artful dissonance, noise, and psychedelia (ever so slightly).
O’Rourke cites bands like Fugazi, and (1990’s) troubadours like Richard Buckner and Elliot Smith for influencing him with their honesty and self-sufficiency, as well as the influence of fellow Western Mass bands and friends like Sebadoh and Dinosaur Jr., not to mention indie heroes like Pavement, Guided By Voices, and The Dirty Three for proving that your sound is what you make it, and doesn’t have to be anything more or less.
01. All We Need Is Hell
02. Lie In White
03. More Better
04. Walking’s So Pedestrian
05. Be Very Careful
06. Hours Undone
07. Svetka Myar (Part 1)
08. Baystate Birthday Suite
10. My Moonlight
11. Svetka Myar (Part 2)
12. As You Turn Your Brim