Home Read Albums Of The Week: Band of Horses | Things Are Great

Albums Of The Week: Band of Horses | Things Are Great

Founder Ben Bridwell takes the production reins for the Seattle indie-roots outfit's sixth album — and crafts a rich, warm disc that harkens back to their own roots.

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THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Band of Horses’ sixth studio album and first record in more than five years, Things Are Great makes a sonic return to their earlier work — and to the ethos that lies at the heart of the group.

This time around, band founder Ben Bridwell took a bigger role in production than he ever has previously, producing or co-producing every song on the album. He brought in old collaborators including Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle, Dave Fridmann and Dave Sardy, but it’s not just old friends who were able to help Bridwell achieve the sound he envisioned. For the first time he worked with engineer Wolfgang “Wolfie” Zimmerman. The two had an instant connection which can be felt throughout the record.

Emotionally intense, both on a personal and elemental level, the songs for the most part were written before the world shut down, when all of us were faced with our own mortality and began to take stock of our lives. Here we find Bridwell more autobiographical than he’s ever been on record detailing the nebulous frustrations and quiet indignities of relationship changes and what a person will do to make things right. And what you do when you can’t.

Crutch, the first single from the album, offered an unguarded first look at what fans were in for. With as much symbolic iconography as a Frida Kahlo lithograph, Crutch is a gorgeous, guitar-driven masterpiece that captures exactly why they are still one of the most important bands of their generation.

Bridwell tells us, “I think like a lot of my songs, Crutch starts with something from my real life. Obviously Crutch means some of the things that I was dependent on. My relationship for one. I think I wanted to say, ‘I’ve got a crush on you,’ and I thought it was funny how relationships also feel like crutches. I feel like everybody has had a time when nothing goes right and you still have to carry on. I think that feeling hits you in this song even if you don’t know what the specifics are.”