Singer and multi-instrumentalist Kevin O’Rourke and a revolving cast of musicians have been making indie folk music with subtle shoegaze tendencies as Lo Fine since the late 90’s. Painting songs of intimate beauty and meditative introspection, O’Rourke and Co. favor the restrained and pastoral over the gaudy and excessive. Their music — while not always simple in a traditional sense — never presents itself as something other than the sum of its often bucolic parts. After the release of Lo Fine’s self-titled debut EP and subsequent full-length, the melancholic Americana-tinged Nine, O’Rourke became the go-to guy for a host of artists looking to borrow some of his impeccable pop/folk instincts. Over the years, he has played bass for Lloyd Cole, wielded a handful of different instruments for ex-Miracle Legion singer Mark Mulcahy, and added his own inimitable rhythms for fellow Northampton, MA indie-rockers Spouse. And on November 5th, he’s set to show us an entirely new canvas of music with Want Is A Great Need, his new album for ASR.
For our introduction to Want Is A Great Need, O’Rourke has chosen the churning rocker “Lie In White.” Favoring flourishes of fuzzed-out distortion over an all-out barrage, the song brings together the band’s acoustic folk background with the complex instrumental rhythms of bands like Dirty Three and Low. The song has an early 90’s indie rock swagger and bluster but still feels tied to its rural aesthetics — a campfire story told in alternating shouts and whispers. There is an immediacy that feels innate, as if the song is tripping over itself to tell you something. And that sticky melody only heightens our sense of expectation and involvement. Pairing the electric folk attitude of Wilco with the communal narratives of dearly departed singer/songwriter Vic Chesnutt, “Lie In White” draws the listener deep within its vividly spun world and offers us a simple choice: stay or leave. And it’s a decision that becomes that much more difficult the longer you listen.
Beats Per Minute is pleased to premiere the new single, “Lie In White,” from Lo Fine’s upcoming album, Want Is A Great Need.