Lean Year


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Alverson has released five records as Spokane, and four as Drunk on the label Jagjaguwar. There is a moment on Sides, the new album from Richmond, Virginia-based duo Lean Year, in which a hospital room floor is filled with white chrysanthemums. This imagery, based on an opiate-induced hallucination experienced by vocalist Emilie Rex’s mother as she recovered from surgery, is a perfect encapsulation of the band’s second album: dreamlike and beautiful, yet burdened with cold, stark reality. Sides is a harrowing journey through realms of grief and memory, a meditation woven into a tapestry of synth pads, woodwinds, and Rex’s instantly recognizable voice.

The duo of Rex and Rick Alverson who also works as a film director (The Mountain, Entertainment, The Comedy) originally set out to write an album about conflict, but during the writing and recording process, they were confronted with a number of personal tragedies. Alverson lost both of his parents in rapid succession, Rex’s mother received a cancer diagnosis, and the couple’s beloved family dog, Orca, died. These events transformed the album into an exploration of loss an attempt at processing the painful, complex, and private emotions that bubble to the surface when confronted with death.


01 Legs
02 Nitetime
03 End
04 Trouble With Being Warm
05 Panes
06 Bend
07 Bad Woman
08 Marriage of Heaven and Hell
09 Home