Please note: $15.00 is the day of show price.
A Love Sleeps Deep’s bones rattle with all the seismic changes of the last five years since the release of The Moondoggies’ Adios I’m a Ghost. While the Washington band got lumped in early on with the woodsy folk-rock/Americana movement that sprung up in the Pacific Northwest in the 2000s, the core Moondoggies sound has always been rock in the more classical sense-more Pink Floyd than Woody Guthrie. A Love Sleeps Deep crystalizes that.
Perhaps more importantly, A Love Sleeps Deep finds singer/guitarist Kevin Murphy at his most pointed as a songwriter. There’s no lyrical pussyfooting this time around. Lacking the need to prove himself, he opens up and lays bare his feelings. “Generally, I feel frustrated because there’s a lot of this escapist stuff going on in rock and roll,” says Murphy. “I just didn’t want to not talk about my frustrations with what I was seeing around me. I have two little girls now, and I’m just thinking about where things are going. Love in my life has changed everything.”
While the album on a whole is about love, there’s an unmistakable anger boiling under the surface. Murphy captures the life-altering glory of finding real love on “Sick in Bed” and “Easy Coming,” and speaks to that special unbridled brand of parental love on “My Mother.” But the highs exasperate his counterbalancing frustrations. He sings with poetic pointedness about the casual racism his girlfriend has faced on “Cinders” and how we’re all ruining the planet his daughters will inherit on “Underground (A Love Sleeps Deep).” He further lets his political feelings be heard on the distorted (literal) barnburner, “Soviet Barn Fire.”
Recorded in Seattle in the spring of 2017 with production wizard Erik Blood (Shabazz Places, Tacocat, THEESatisfaciton), A Love Sleeps Deep is also an album of collaboration. The band seemingly threw each tune up in the air to see how it bounced around the room, making sure everyone got their hands on it. From around 30 initial demos, Blood helped select the most jam-heavy numbers. “They had that vibe that made me love the band in the first place, but with a weathered distinction and confidence that moved me,” says Blood.
With the passage of time, the band feels more comfortable in its own skin. Carl Dahlen’s drums sonically lead the way, crafting a stellar template for everyone else. Dahlen’s rhythm section cohort, bassist Robert Terreberry, further helps lock in the grooves over Caleb Quick’s keys. In addition to lead guitar work, Jon Pontrello taught himself pedal steel since the last record, and it’s intentionally not employed (as a matter of band philosophy) on the more country-leaning tunes, instead adding a more cosmic feel to the heaviest tracks.
What has The Moondoggies found inside of themselves in the years they’ve been gone that makes A Love Sleeps Deep stand out? What’s come to the forefront? “Rawness,” says Blood. “Like a monster singing lullabies.”
PARKER GISPERT (of The Whigs)
“Through The Canvas” is the debut song from Parker Gispert. The song was recorded at Nashville’s Blackbird Studios and mixed at Hacienda Studios by Emery Dobyns (Patti Smith / Antony and the Johnsons). Parker says it was the first song he wrote for his solo venture and elaborates, “I grabbed my guitar and walked into a big, open field on the farm I was living on and suddenly the song came to me. The song is about taking control and being the artist of your experience.”
Parker Gispert is also the frontman, singer, guitarist, pianist and songwriter of rock and roll trio The Whigs. Now in Nashville, Tennessee, The Whigs began in Athens, Georgia in 2001 and have released five studio albums and one live album via ATO Records and New West Records while also touring the world consistently as headliners or support for groups such as Kings of Leon, Black Keys, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Drive By Truckers, Hold Steady, and many more. They’ve appeared four times on the Late Show with David Letterman, twice The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, twice on Jimmy Kimmel LIVE!, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and Late Night with Conan O’Brien.
The Whigs have performed at major American Festivals such as Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, and Sasquatch as well as prominent international festivals such as Fuji Rock (Japan), Rock Werchter (Belgium), T in the Park (Scotland), and Oxygen (Ireland) to name a few. They’ve played major venues such as Madison Square Garden, Red Rocks, Hyde Park, and Slane Castle. The most recent Whigs release is their first live album, Live In Little Five, which arrived November 2016 courtesy of New West Records.