After decades on the road and the never-ending hustle of life as an artist, Lou Barlow has tapped into a new confidence in the chaos. In 2021, the concept of balance feels particularly intimidating. Now more than ever, it's clear life isn't just leveling out a pair of responsibilities. Instead, we're chasing after a flock of different ideals with a butterfly net. On Barlow's new solo album, Reason to Live, he has come to an understanding of that swirl rather than trying to contain it. As a long-time indie legend, Barlow has found a life akin to a middle-class musician. In recent years, he's moved from Los Angeles back to Massachusetts, where he lives with his wife and three kids. And yet rather than settle into a comfortable malaise or yearn for the open road, Barlow's strengthened urgency finds a way to merge the two instincts. Reason to Live is shambolic and grand yet intimate and doting, warmly acoustic and crackling with grit. "I had been struggling for a way to connect both my home life and my recorded life, but this record is the first time I've integrated that," Barlow says. By folding the many facets of his life into one package, Reason to Live radiates with a renewed balance and calm. That comfort in complexity shines through even in the recording process, with select songs having origins in decades past and others written in the early stages of 2020. Barlow wrote lead single "Love Intervene" in 2018, and set out to recreate the layered acoustics while adapting the lyrics to his new present. The resulting propulsive track rides on interlocking strumming patterns, Barlow's voice as crisp as a New England breeze. "Tide after tide, change is the meaning of life/ It turns any wall into sand," he exhales, before yet again calling for love to lead the way through. Album opener "In My Arms" quite literally pulls from Barlow's teen years, utilizing a sample of a recording he made in 1982. The track feels stuffed with burnished layers, Barlow's dueling guitar solos and unique strumming patterns threading through the verses. "Lyrically, the song is about rediscovering the initial spark to make music," he says. "I feel like I was finally able to re-embrace my fundamental inspirations to make music." There are echoes of the four-track wizardry of Sebadoh III and the Sentridoh years, but lyrically Barlow cracks those layers apart to reflect on his newly layered life.
After decades on the road and the never-ending hustle of life as an artist, Lou Barlow has tapped into a new confidence in the chaos. In 2021, the concept of balance feels particularly intimidating. Now more than ever, it's clear life isn't just leveling out a pair of responsibilities. Instead, we're chasing after a flock of different ideals with a butterfly net. On Barlow's new solo album, Reason to Live, he has come to an understanding of that swirl rather than trying to contain it. As a long-time indie legend, Barlow has found a life akin to a middle-class musician. In recent years, he's moved from Los Angeles back to Massachusetts, where he lives with his wife and three kids. And yet rather than settle into a comfortable malaise or yearn for the open road, Barlow's strengthened urgency finds a way to merge the two instincts. Reason to Live is shambolic and grand yet intimate and doting, warmly acoustic and crackling with grit. "I had been struggling for a way to connect both my home life and my recorded life, but this record is the first time I've integrated that," Barlow says. By folding the many facets of his life into one package, Reason to Live radiates with a renewed balance and calm. That comfort in complexity shines through even in the recording process, with select songs having origins in decades past and others written in the early stages of 2020. Barlow wrote lead single "Love Intervene" in 2018, and set out to recreate the layered acoustics while adapting the lyrics to his new present. The resulting propulsive track rides on interlocking strumming patterns, Barlow's voice as crisp as a New England breeze. "Tide after tide, change is the meaning of life/ It turns any wall into sand," he exhales, before yet again calling for love to lead the way through. Album opener "In My Arms" quite literally pulls from Barlow's teen years, utilizing a sample of a recording he made in 1982. The track feels stuffed with burnished layers, Barlow's dueling guitar solos and unique strumming patterns threading through the verses. "Lyrically, the song is about rediscovering the initial spark to make music," he says. "I feel like I was finally able to re-embrace my fundamental inspirations to make music." There are echoes of the four-track wizardry of Sebadoh III and the Sentridoh years, but lyrically Barlow cracks those layers apart to reflect on his newly layered life.
753936907645
Reason To Live
Artist: Lou Barlow
Format: CD
New: Available $13.98
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Available Formats and Editions

DISC: 1

1. In My Arms
2. Reason to Live
3. Why Can't It Wait
4. Love Intervine
5. Privatize
6. I Don't Like Changes
7. Clouded Age
8. Over You
9. How Do I Know
10. Cold One
11. Thirsty
12. Maumee
13. Lows and Highs
14. Paws
15. Tempted
16. All You People Suck
17. Act of Faith

More Info:

After decades on the road and the never-ending hustle of life as an artist, Lou Barlow has tapped into a new confidence in the chaos. In 2021, the concept of balance feels particularly intimidating. Now more than ever, it's clear life isn't just leveling out a pair of responsibilities. Instead, we're chasing after a flock of different ideals with a butterfly net. On Barlow's new solo album, Reason to Live, he has come to an understanding of that swirl rather than trying to contain it. As a long-time indie legend, Barlow has found a life akin to a middle-class musician. In recent years, he's moved from Los Angeles back to Massachusetts, where he lives with his wife and three kids. And yet rather than settle into a comfortable malaise or yearn for the open road, Barlow's strengthened urgency finds a way to merge the two instincts. Reason to Live is shambolic and grand yet intimate and doting, warmly acoustic and crackling with grit. "I had been struggling for a way to connect both my home life and my recorded life, but this record is the first time I've integrated that," Barlow says. By folding the many facets of his life into one package, Reason to Live radiates with a renewed balance and calm. That comfort in complexity shines through even in the recording process, with select songs having origins in decades past and others written in the early stages of 2020. Barlow wrote lead single "Love Intervene" in 2018, and set out to recreate the layered acoustics while adapting the lyrics to his new present. The resulting propulsive track rides on interlocking strumming patterns, Barlow's voice as crisp as a New England breeze. "Tide after tide, change is the meaning of life/ It turns any wall into sand," he exhales, before yet again calling for love to lead the way through. Album opener "In My Arms" quite literally pulls from Barlow's teen years, utilizing a sample of a recording he made in 1982. The track feels stuffed with burnished layers, Barlow's dueling guitar solos and unique strumming patterns threading through the verses. "Lyrically, the song is about rediscovering the initial spark to make music," he says. "I feel like I was finally able to re-embrace my fundamental inspirations to make music." There are echoes of the four-track wizardry of Sebadoh III and the Sentridoh years, but lyrically Barlow cracks those layers apart to reflect on his newly layered life.