2019Strand of Oaks w/ Apex Manor
SeptemberDoors 8pm, Show 9pm - $17adv/ $20
“Some records are built like monuments, set in stone,” says Showalter. “I want this record to be burned in effigy, in celebration of the limited time we have on this earth.”
Lead single “Radio Kids” comes with a beautifully shot video directed by Christopher Good. NPR Music says: “Just like that favorite song you’ve held onto for so many years, evoking memories of the past, 'Radio Kids' is the kind of song you want to listen to over and over.” Watch “Radio Kids” here: http://bit.ly/2fSgk4Y
'Hard Love' walks a tightrope of emotions — from rock ‘n' roll abandon to harrowing self-reflection — and Showalter has lived every minute of it. From a life-changing psychedelic awakening at the Boogie Festival in Australia ("On The Hill") to his own domestic troubles (“Hard Love”) and the near-death of his brother from cardiac arrest (“Taking Acid and Talking With My Brother"), 'Hard Love' is a sledgehammer of a record rife with unrestrained sonic expression.
Written and conceptualized during Showalter’s post-tour break as he reveled in what he considered to be a life-changing experience, the initial sessions for ‘Hard Love’ were scrapped. Showalter brought in producer Nicolas Vernhes to capture the loose, hedonistic vibe he was searching for. “In a time of calculation and overthinking, I wanted to bring back the raw, impulsive nature that is the DNA of so many records I love,” says Showalter, who draws from his love of Creation Records, Trojan dub tapes and Jane’s Addiction throughout the album’s nine tracks.
But that rocking intensity is tempered by the wounded ballad “Cry,” a sobering moment of clarity that serves as the emotional fulcrum of the record. It’s this strain of honesty and self-reflection that helps mark ‘Hard Love’ as the most fearless work of Showalter’s career — a growing up record that lobbies just as hard for holding on to youthful foibles.
‘Hard Love’ is the follow-up to 2014's ‘HEAL,’ deemed "some of the best new music of the year" by NPR, a "heart-on-sleeve vision quest" by Grantland, and simply “a rock ‘n’ roll masterpiece” by AV Club, leading to performances everywhere from Newport Folk and Primavera to Late Night with Seth Meyers and NPR's Tiny Desk.
Having relocated from the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles to Pasadena, Flournoy was enjoying suburban tranquility, but his car wouldn’t start and he found himself isolated. He whiled away the days cleaning the house, sitting on the porch, and splitting tallboys with the gardeners who worked nearby. And battling a case of writer’s block.
Enter an unlikely source of inspiration: an online songwriting contest. NPR’s Monitor Mix was soliciting original songs from readers, giving the prospective songwriter one weekend to write, record, and submit. Flournoy decided to give it a go and set about writing and recording at home. At least he would be doing something with his time. The song, “Under the Gun,” turned out to be about the process itself.
Now feeling inspired for the first time in months, Flournoy began writing at a feverish clip, penning more than 25 songs, nearly a third of which were co-written by Adam Vine. Flournoy then teamed up with former Broken West bandmate Brian Whelan to record some proper demos, and Apex Manor was born.