The business with the sons and the trees might still lie ahead of them, but the gentlemen from A Life, A Song, A Cigarette have already built the house. But the “boys”, as folks liked to call Stephan Stanzel, Daniel Grailach, Martin Knobloch, Lukas Lauermann and Hannes Wirth, are no longer boys. Not anymore. Boys don’t build houses. And certainly not, as in their case, two houses. One, in the Vienna district of Ottakring, a real house of stone and iron, the studio for their new record. And then a metaphorical one, the record, a house of music and stories, a house for life. And now it can go on, until the end of time. TIDELAND, the third album from this deeply American band, so close to my heart, from Simmering in Vienna, possesses a serenity, almost a majesty, which truly commands respect, and a density, as though one hundred wise women had spent one hundred years weaving it. But it lets you in. Singer and lyricist Stephan Stanzel, this Viennese reincarnation of Gram Parsons, lavishly depicts the terrain of his stories: but one night one sparkling night / I?ll cover up my tracks down by the stream / and sing to you my song of peace / be grateful and fall back into a dream. And as always, Stanzel means every word, just exactly as it’s written down and howled out into the world. TIDELAND doesn’t gaze longingly to the Mid-West as debut album FRESH KILLS LANDFILL might have done, and the damp, elaborate indie-dreams of BLACK AIR are over. TIDELAND sits firmly in the middle of life, here is no room for argument -just as it is with the tides of the title. TIDELAND means letting fear in and making a bed for her, because she’s not leaving anyway. TIDELAND says that just perhaps, this time, something might come of love. TIDELAND means being able to have a house and still have songs. Stanzel swears: I?m still out there in the fields / old boy on the run / searching for some truth. And he tells us something else important: Don’t waste a single tear. We won’t. Promise.
A Life, A Song, A Cigarette are:
Stephan Stanzel (voc, git), Martin Knobloch (bass), Hannes Wirth (git, voc), Lukas Lauermann (cello, keys), Daniel Grailach (drums, percussions, voc)