Since the early 2000’s John Lindenbaum (The Lonelyhearts, Rust Belt Music) has been putting forth dark dystopian tales accompanied by sweeping synthesizers, skittering drums, and ethereal sounds. Over an astoundingly prolific catalog of 12 previous releases, Lindenbaum — with his Nadalands cohorts — have produced a wealth of beautiful, literary-driven songs about disconnection and degeneration.
The All Souls’ Day EP marks the culmination of that nearly two-decade sonic evolution. The EP showcases an evocative lyricism that urges comparisons to The Mountain Goats, Neutral Milk Hotel and Damien Jurado. Having confronted the specter of death on The Last Days LP (2016) and rebirth on The New Day EP (2018), Lindenbaum uses these songs to address the complex relationships between the two — “when the dead touch the living, the past becomes the future, the mechanical fuses with the organic, the Old West seeps into the New, and myth becomes truth,” he said.
Magical realism dances with a grounded detail-driven narrative in these five vignettes. “We’re All Slaves in a Capitalist System, Aren’t We?” revisits the age-old theme of a clone recognizing his own artificiality. “The Amur River” uses a mysterious and grisly discovery to depict a fraught Siberian love story. “Plagues” explores the confluence of 19th and 21st Century Colorado through pandemic-induced synesthesia. “Red Light Runners” wrestles with the inherent destructiveness of humanity amidst the Las Vegas real estate collapse. Finally, “Deep Thoughts from Arizona’s Most Affordable Mental Health Facility” takes the listener to the treacherous edges of both sanity and the Grand Canyon.
As with past records, the studio work features musical contributions from Alexis Stevens, Benjamin Buttice (Sour Boy, Bitter Girl), Matt Schild, Roger Abraham (Golden Birds), and Brian Johannesen.