“Maybe I waited far too long,” Man Man main man Honus Honus posits on his first album in nearly seven years. Well, yes and no. Yes because we all certainly would have enjoyed hearing from him sooner. But no because this sixth studio set proves to be well worth the lengthy delay. On the fittingly titled Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between, the singer-songwriter born Ryan Kattner leads his new crew on another expedition to the outskirts of orchestral-rock eccentricity and eclecticism. And as he unspools his weirdly inspired (and inspiredly weird) ditties about Unsweet Meat, Animal Attraction, living on Cloud Nein and finding your Inner Iggy, he makes Father John Misty seem like Pat Boone. So to hell with the wait. Despite being out of the musical loop for far too long, Honus still manages to live up to another apt lyric here: “We somehow always land on our feet.” That’s why he’s the Man Man man, man.
THE PRESS RELEASE: “Honus Honus (aka Ryan Kattner) has devoted his career to exploring the uncertainty between life’s extremes: beauty and ugliness, order and chaos. The songs on Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between, Man Man’s first album in over six years, are as intimate, soulful, and timeless as they are audaciously inventive and daring. At the end of 2015, Man Man went on an unexpected and unforeseen hiatus, and thus began a period of creative reinvention for Honus. He worked in music supervision and on scores (The Exorcist, Superdeluxe, Do You Want to See a Dead Body?). He acted in the indie film Woe (“I played a park ranger, a nice guy in a sad movie.”), So It Goes, a short musical film with Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and starred in the award-winning tour documentary Use Your Delusion. He also developed an animated series, wrote film scripts, a graphic novel, a neo-noir TV pilot, and briefly penned a music column, all while continuing to work on new music, such as an unreleased kids’ record, another Mister Heavenly album, a self-released Honus Honus record, and a conceptual art/noise project Mega Naturals. He was sleeping 2.5 hours per day. In the midst of this Man Man sabbatical, Honus began piecing together what would become Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between. He recruited longtime-creative collaborator Ghahremani to help him produce. Written in a friend’s L.A. “guesthouse” (more shack than chic) that had “an old upright piano, a thrift store lamp, and nothing else,” it was an arduous, three-and-a-half-year process, “I had chord progression notes that looked like chicken scratch and lyrics on pieces of paper stuck all over the walls. It looked like I was about to break the big case, catch the killer,” he says, laughing. “One of the best things about this time, in these ‘lost in the wilderness/surreal exile from my own band’ years, was that I finally found players who believed in me, trusted my vision, respected my songwriting. It was rejuvenating.” Kattner caught the killer. He is currently sleeping 3.5 hours per day. Hope reigns.”