There is something absolutely unique, fresh and exhilarating about the tunes crafted by Long Range Hustle.
Gearing up for the release of their superb latest disc Town, the band, along with Tourist Company, plays Bo’s March 5th.
Sonic gems abound from the richly-textured charms of Morning Clover to the irresistible fun of Wish I Knew You Then.
Carry Us continues on with that breezy sense of fun, all piled neatly on a solid rhythmic foundation.
Crush You strips it all down to a simple piano opening, but builds in intensity which matches the reflective, comparatively melancholic lyrics.
“We are referencing a lot of our own formative years spent in these little farm towns,” explained singer/guitarist Paul Brogee of the disc’s lyrical journey.
Rounding out the band are Jay Foster (vocals/piano), Mike Brogee (bass/vocals), AJ Fisico (drums/vocals) and Ryan Pritchard (guitar). A mix of high school and summer camp counsellor stints brought the core of this southern Ontario five-piece together – solidifying the line-up in early 2017.
Paul describes Town as loosely ‘concept’ in nature.
”We were thinking of all of those times you stop in a tiny place, and you don’t really get a sense of all of the people who live there. But for us growing up in these towns, there are all of these lives and stories unfolding in each of these little places,” he said.
“And so all of the songs we wrote are heavily influenced by our own upbringings in places like that.
“But rather than it being strictly autobiographical, we tried to imagine another town somewhere else where all these sorts of stories are unfolding. And they are stories that you wouldn’t necessarily see when you are passing through in a grand dash.
“We also ended up with some ‘landmarks’ of this imaginary town that pop up from song to song, because even though there are different people in each song, they are experiencing a lot of the same landmarks. So there is talk of the tiny little cinema and things like that,” he added.
Indeed, the disc has a powerfully imaginative feel to it – many of the tunes almost instantly bring pictures to mind, which isn’t a common attribute in much of modern music.
Part of the credit for that also goes to acclaimed producer Tony Doogan.
“I think his greatest contribution among many was really forcing us to simplify and focus on whatever the most important element of the song was at any given point,” he explained.
In the meantime, there’s just no life quite like the life of a musician.
“When you are onstage, or even off stage and just getting together to play music and it’s clicking in a really great way – there is just no other feeling quite like that.”
”Often when we are jamming songs out and working on arrangements, we end up in this situation where everyone has a really, really cool idea and we just go, ‘These are all really cool things – we’ll just play them all at the same time’,” he said with a laugh.
“Inevitably, you end up with a bit of a mish-mash of stuff. Tony took a lot of the songs, and said there are some really cool ideas here, but we filter them a little bit and go, ‘We are going to pick this idea and it’s going to be the focus here, and this other idea is going to be the focus for the chorus’.
“He forced us to hone in on one of the best parts of every section of a song,” he said. It’s also worth noting the guys had long dreamed of working with Doogan. “When we were still in our late teens, we would say, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to make a record with Tony Doogan? And then flash forward many, many years and it’s a literal teenage dream come true!”
Melding five distinct points of view isn’t always perfectly smooth, but Paul said the band has ironed out a pretty smooth ‘modus operandi’.
“Often, we will have a whole bunch of really good ideas happening in the room. And when people have different ideas on how a certain section of a song should go, we will often work on an entire section in one person’s vision, and then do it all over again in a different person’s vision.”
From there, they will settle on one interpretation.
“Being able to take a step into each one of those ideas and see them come to life for a moment gets people on the same page about what idea we are really excited about.”