Week in Pop: HDLSS, Jesus Sons, LuxDeluxe

Sjimon Gompers

Through the darkness of futures past—HDLSS's Far & Wolfy emerge from the billows of fog machine smoke; press photo courtesy of HDLSS.

Jesus Sons

Rugged messianic sons of the southwest—Jesus Sons; photographed by Angelica Rose Fata.

San Francisco by way of Los Angeles troubadours Jesus Sons have kept the spirit of southwestern twang alive & well in the collective repertoire of contemporary rock & roll. Having rocked us with their self-titled, the beloved Better Times 7″ to the Songs from Big Pink/Basement Tapes obsessed Bring It On Home—the band has sent us news of their fall slated third full-length Tres from Mock Records with an exclusive world premiere listen to the lazy day living & a-loving “Livin’ Easy”. A testament & tribute to the idyllic sweet life that lives for today (not so much for the unknown factors that arrive with the dawning of tomorrow) paints Jesus Sons as a band of rambling & rowdy saloon-swinging dilettantes that celebrate a life of being independent & free (in mind, spirit & deed). Like the previous output from the band, the ‘Sons maintain their dedication to the country-rock craft where the high-flying spirit of early-70s rebels & radicals is resurrected ad-infinitum to showcase human truths & a whole lotta electric light.

“Livin’ Easy” finds Jesus Sons recounting the heavy prices paid when you lay your heart down on the line. The downsides of steady-romances are traded in turn for the titular desire of an easier existence that wishes only to be accountable for themselves (sans the baggage of being bogged down by the mutual needs of another). Yet the band depicts the paradox of wanting it both ways, the fanciful desires of fleeting romances without attachments while pondering how & why those special bonds slipped away. Jesus Sons illustrates the psyche of the solitary man archetype as portrayed in Americana songs, films & television programs where the lessons from broken hearts, broken homes & the velocity of human needs & affections all run awry in a snapshot of searching for both love & the self while on the road is illustrated in a kind of road worn expression of honesty sung with a hungover shrug. Throughout the course of “Livin’ Easy”, we hear Jesus Sons pit the plight of the independent & liberated individual/artist with the endearing bonds shared with another as those strong temporal connections with others are contrasted by the conflicts that arrive in the life of an uncommitted wandering loner. Join us after the debut listen as we caught up with the band in the following insightful interview.

It’s been a minute since we caught up; tell us what’s good & groovy right now in the world of Jesus Sons.

Our lineup changed quite a bit. Both our singer and drummer left. So now Erik(our bassist) is taking the reins on the vocal front. We added some new players that are the real deal. Including Grady Kinnion on pedal steel and Shaughnessy Start on drums. It’s another animal.

Give us the third times the charm style story behind the making of Tres.

Second third time is the charm. Once recorded before and we went back and re-cut it. Going from picking out the seeds and stems to smoking the good stuff.

What sorts of tranquility & aspects of the good life informed the new country-rocking “Livin’ Easy”?

Ending a long relationship and then finally feeling free, but then you realize that it ain’t so easy.

How much Flying Burrito Brothers, Gram Parsons, Michael Nesmith’s First National Band, Allman Brothers, etc where you all listening to while making this album?

Sippin’ on sizzurp makes you listen to some crazy things…

What are y’all listening to right now?

A healthy amount of yacht rock.

How do you all feel you have grown together as a group?

Some fell off the wagon and some could stay on.

What are some further hopes & desires that you all would like to accomplish down the road?

Be on the road as much as humanly possible.

Parting prayers, thoughts, hymns, benedictions and the like?

We are not religious but Tres will be out in the fall.

Catch Jesus Sons hitting the touring road all throughout this month via the following dates:

12 Santa Ana, CA – Constellation Room
13 Los Angeles, CA – Bootleg Theater
16 San Francisco, CA – The Chapel
17 Santa Cruz, CA – Catalyst Atrium
20 Seattle, WA – The Sunset
21 Vancouver, Canada – Rickshaw
24 Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
25 Denver, CO – Global Hall
27 Brissbee, AZ – Royal Theatre

Jesus Sons’ forthcoming third album Tres will be available later this fall via Mock Records.

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