Cinematic and eclectic – the sophomore LHS release “What Lies Around the Bend” breaks away from country noire to explore rock melodies and progressions.
The debut album “Hope in Shadows” initially offered listeners a soundtrack to film noire, paying homage to David Lynch and Johnny Cash. But the Lonely Heart Show’s most recent release is a bit of a departure, leaning more towards rock than alt-country, and intentionally more optimistic in tone. A mixture of downtempo and upbeat tracks along with more focus on melody and harmony suggest that the LHS intends to evolve with each subsequent release.
Whilst both albums are comprised of 14 tracks, the sophomore work provides over one hour of music for listeners. Thematically, “What Lies Around the Bend” nods to imagery of the sea and makes several nautical references. Tracks such as “Shipwrecks,” “Head to Shore,” and “Silent Sea” draw inspiration from residing in a sleepy port city situated on the coast of the Arabian Sea. Supported by an array of music videos, the second album aspires to blur the line between music and cinema.
From the demise of the alt-pop band Dual, Cris Fehr initially formed the LHS as a collective of sorts, drawing on the contributions of musicians in Edmonton and Vancouver, Canada. Kindred spirits such as Bryan Reichert (guitar), Chad Andriowski (drums), Rebecca Anderson (accordion), and Tim McGuiness (lap steel) augmented the “Hope in Shadows” tracks, which were primarily written on acoustic guitar. “What Lies Around the Bend” is decidedly more electric and less polished.
The second album also departs from “Hope in Shadows” in the fact that it is ostensibly an autonomous work, (though music for “New Beginning” was written by UAE artist Obselion). Ellie Chang, former front woman for Dual, principally provides background vocals for the LHS, but is also the lead vocalist for chillout project LeisureCo. The duo continues to write and record music under the monikers of LeisureCo as well as Sea Lights.