Photo by Ross Nunes
Sometimes when you listen to a record, you can tell before learning anything else that it took a long time to make. Whether it's because the album sounds just slightly older (but not by much) than what the genre is currently producing or because it took a very long time to get to you, these albums have a specific feel and sound to them.
Of course, good things take time. It took three years for Half Hearted Hero's latest, Isn't Real, to see the light of day. Hailing from New Bedford, MA and spending over a decade in the DIY circuit there gave the five guys a lot of time to find their sound and get comfortable with it. There were some "make it or break it" points in their career, including this album, which guitarist AJ Mills comments on below:
"When we started writing 'Isn't Real,' it felt like a eulogy," Mills said about the record. "We had been struggling as a band for years and our future was up in the air. We were entering our mid twenties and starting to ask ourselves the tough questions all bands have to ask eventually, 'Is this something we can make a career out of or is this a hobby? Is this worth it?' As the writing process progressed though, that feeling started to wear off. By the time we were finishing up the final tracks in Clinton's studio, three years had passed and listening back to the mixes we were filled with renewed optimism. We still may not know the answer to to those tough questions, but we know this: 'Isn't Real' is not a eulogy. A transformation, or rebirth maybe, but not a eulogy."
Whatever it is for them, it's lovely for us. Give the album a listen below.
The Isn't Real LP is out May 27 on Animal Style Records. Pre-order it here.