Jake Kyle: double bass, bass, acoustic, electric guitar, trumpet, vocals
Tim Keegan: vocals, acoustic and electric guitar, harmonica, theremin
Lindsay Jamieson: drums, percussion, piano, flute, casiotone, organ, vocals
Chris Anderson: piano, hammond and pump organ, midi, CZ101, saxophone, oboe, electric guitar, electravibe, theremin, vocals
Too Late To Die Young will prove to be one of the most beautiful and affecting records to be released in 2002.
This third album by Departure Lounge follows on from its critically lauded predecessors, Out Of There (May 2000), and the instrumental Jetlag Dreams (Sept 2001). With French national treasure Kid Loco in the producerâ€™s chair, Too Late... sees the itinerant English quartet moving up to a new level of musical ambition and adventure. They have made a multi-layered musical feast of a record, positively overflowing with songwriting of the highest caliber.
Take the musical invention and soaring melodies of The Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev or the Beta Band ("I love you", "Animals On My Mind"), the emotional resonance and charm of David Gray and Belle and Sebastian ("Silverline", ?Over the Side?), the stately majesty of New Order ("What You Have Is Good", "Straight Line to the Kerb"), and the filmic atmospherics of DJ Shadow ("Tubular Belgians in my Goldfield"). Add in elements of country, blues, Reed/Dylan/Cohen ("King Kong Frown", "I love you" again) and a dry sense of humor, all set to a seductive groove a la Kid Loco, and the result is a timeless collection of songs which is at once life-affirming, bitter-sweet, and truly gorgeous.
Too Late To Die Young features all four members of Departure Lounge playing a mind-boggling array of instruments and found objects, and guest appearances from Simon Raymonde of the Cocteau Twins (guitar), Robyn Hitchcock (guitar, harmonica), Lisa O'Neill from Sing-Sing (vocals) and Kid Loco himself (guitar, percussion). It was recorded in three ten-day sessions at their friends' studio, Blah Street, on an old farm deep in the English countryside. The medieval/psychedelic decor, huge number of lovely old instruments, home-made electronic toys and excellent home cooking had Kid Loco calling it â€œthe best studio in the world.â€?
For most of 2001, Departure Lounge have been resident in Nashville, Tennessee, where they set up a residency called the Living Room at their favorite nightspot, the Slow Bar. Here they performed fortnightly, mixing their own songs with covers ranging from the Human League to Joni Mitchell to Motorhead. An abundance of guest musicians including Josh Rouse, members of Lambchop and Ryan Adams' band, and former band mates of Bob Dylan and John Cale joined them on a multitude of instruments from hammer dulcimer to clarinet to pedal steel. One night Departure Lounge fan Lee Hazelwood turned up with his mate Duane Eddy and gave a thumbs up from the back to their version of his â€œIf It's Monday Morningâ€?.
Departure Lounge also have their own radio show on college radio in Nashville, every Sunday evening. It is broadcast live on the web at wrvu.org Sunday evenings 6-8pm local time. Tim's voice can also be heard gracing 6 of the 10 tracks on Kid Loco's foxy new Kill Your Darlings album.
The band have been together since early 1998 when Tim, a recovering singer/songwriter, asked Jake, Chris and Lindsay to play on some new recordings. One evening in a London studio they realized they had become a band, having written twelve songs in the space of a few hours. It's been post-coital bliss ever since. They are now based between Nashville, Brighton and sometimes Paris.