Album release: The Long Lost by David Bronson (Part 2/2 of The Long Lost Story)
Release date: October 14th
Listen on: official website
‘What stands is a decent recording from a reflective soul, one who’s purging his innermost feelings for all to see.’ - 7/10 Drowned in Sound
‘If you like well-produced, catchy, decent guitar playing and solid vocals then you’ll like this. It’s clear that he takes what he does very seriously and puts a lot of thought into things.’ – Gold Flake Paint
‘There are dreamlike qualities to several songs and, even without the aid of hallucinogenic substances, you can join David in a world of poetry, imagery and unrequited love.’ - No Depression
Early this year David Bronson released his debut album Story, the first instalment of a deeply cathartic 22 track opus, yet chronologically the second half of his narrative. Prequel, The Long Lost is now set for UK release in October and promises to draw closure to The Long Lost Story project, completing what is in effect a sonic summation of an emotional development process travelled through by each and every one of us who has loved and lost, and survived.
With a number of years of writing, producing, and recording in NYC as an indie musician with a tight budget, Bronson let nothing get in the way of the album’s large and expressive scope. Beginning with a young man’s loss of hope and identity following the end of first love, a project came to life to continue through the prolonged, arduous, and life-changing journey to re-find them. Originally meant as one record, it became obvious to Bronson that the album represented growth itself: ‘It became a metaphor and conduit for everything I was feeling in my inner life, and I put everything into it,’ he explains. “I indulged myself to get everything the way I wanted; the art of it became the only thing that mattered.”
"The Long Lost is exactly that: a piece of my history, somewhat ancient history actually, but certainly a piece that informed much of my life that followed, in various important ways,” explains Bronson. “This album documents the most difficult period I can remember. There was a lot of darkness, which I think is reflected in the music; both in the lyrics as well as in the makeup of the songs themselves. The title refers, on the one hand, to exactly what was going on; it really is a picture of someone who's almost completely lost.”
The multi-faceted project, however, reveals itself to have numerous levels of meaning, with metaphors in artistic creation. He achieves a long-sightedness beyond the breakup towards a detached retelling as well as an attempt at a self-prescribed 'remedy': “There was another, extremely positive aspect to the whole thing. It was unquestionably during this period of my life that I first found some clear sense of myself as an artist. So amidst all that discomfort I also have this extremely fond memory of being truly, undeniably alive, and moving for the first time very deeply into an area of internal meaning, which was, for me, the first real step toward healing, growing, and becoming an adult. This album, to me, represents the starting point of everything else I've ever wanted to do as an artist.”
You can hear the scope of Bronson’s intense desire to produce a full-bodied exploration of his inner life as the album ranges in influence, from guitar driven rockscapes to raw simplicity, showcasing delicate instrumentation and chord sequencing as well as potent and poignant lyrics. There are numerous influences on the record, from the glossy classicism of Scott Walker, Neil Young and George Harrison, to a looseness and experimentation of modern converts to the folk-rock sound, such as Phosphorescent, Grizzly Bear and Iron & Wine. Growing up on a diet of 70s psychedelia has also lead to progressive fusions on a contemporary American sound, with a garage and pedal steel fuzz.
To introduce audiences to this new album, the track ‘Living In Name’ is available to stream and share on Soundcloud.
"In some ways, Living in Name is the quintessential song on The Long Lost,” says Bronson. “It's the most minimal song on what is generally a much quieter, more internal album than its counterpart, Story. It was also recorded within a matter of days from when I wrote it, so there's that level of immediacy in there as well. Like a lot of songs, it came as a very quick reaction to something that happened. Both emotionally and structurally it's maybe the purest distillation and statement of meaning for the whole record as well as the actual process of creation for the entire Long Lost Story.”
Although the entire chronicle stems from an extremely personal trajectory, the resulting accessibility of Bronson’s music and the abundant creative community of the surrounding NYC has sparked industrious collaborations. The overriding example would be legendary producer and mix engineer Godfrey Diamond, known for his work with Lou Reed, Aerosmith and Sparks, who assisted David with the production and finishing of both albums and mixed both records.
Throughout the promotion of his debut, David also saw opportunity to work with New York Producer NESIMO and Brooklyn beatmaker Silk Lung to electronically revamp some tracks. With a personal taste for electronic stylings of the likes of Kavinsky, CSS and Vangelis himself, further remixes for ‘The Long Lost’ are to be expected on the horizon.
As any body of work which considers art as the defining element, aesthetics also play an important role for Bronson. ‘I’ve always had a deep love and appreciation for illustration, from a very young age being obsessed with comic books’ says David. This explains the boldly idiosyncratic and technically beautiful line-drawn, graphically-oriented themes prevalent not only in the album artwork (most of which was created by David's twin brother Jeremy, also the records' drummer) but also in an extensive back catalogue of music videos. These have involved collaborations with visual artists including Johnerick Lawson (who has previously worked with TV On The Radio) as well as a host of independents.
David’s dedication and meticulousness in making his ideas come alive has resulted in emotional and sonic opulence, and rather than being a heavily foreboding or overly moody project, The Long Lost Story is wholly an uplifting affair.