The Furious Seasons come alive with their new single “Every Morning at Five.”
The Furious Seasons are an acoustic trio with stories to tell. Living inside these songs are tales of persons in desperate situations, chronicles of life in 21st century Los Angeles, and stories of quietly heroic individuals, often told with a nod towards the inexorable passage of time. Acclaimed songwriter, singer and guitarist David Steinhart fashions songs that lyrically live on the hopeful side of melancholy, with an approach to songwriting by turns stark and ethereal, and perfect for an acoustic treatment. The supple accompaniment from this small string orchestra generates a surprising tonal lushness, in the end creating a hypnotic universe in which the listener can lose themselves. These songs reveal new depth with each repeated listen. Veteran Los Angeles songwriter David Steinhart has distilled decades of songwriting on nearly 30 album releases, and with his brother Jeff has toured the U.S. and Europe in the ’90s and ‘00s in bands Smart Brown Handbag and Pop Art.
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Guitarist Paul Nelson’s background as a working musician in Santa Barbara plying his trade in various facets of Americana, afforded him the ability to illuminate David’s songs with melodic and mercurial inventions that create a bespoke blend of blues, folk and country influences. Additionally, he adds harmony vocals to David’s keening melodies with an instinctual sense. Jeff Steinhart’s upright bass provides the supple underpinning that pulls the songs together with a gravitas that makes the vocals and the guitars soar; and in the recording studio he adds subtle washes of organ and piano in just the right places. At the core of the material, David’s modal approach to guitar keeps the songs grounded and at the same time creates with painterly stokes open-ended, sometimes impressionistic sonic landscapes on which the trio builds arrangements.
The trio has garnered critical praise for their work, Shaun Underwood of Twangville had this to say about the bands last album, Home All Day, Home All Night: At its core, Home All Day, Home All Night is undoubtedly a folk record. It’s a bunch of stories about ordinary people’s lives put to music. But the intricate arrangements and instrumental interplay create a rich, textured sound that’s as much Mozart as it is Woody Guthrie. Jim Hynes at Making a Scene added: The music is beautifully rendered throughout behind David’s expressive, emotive vocals. It’s not only Nelson’s deft touches on the string instruments but Jeff’s bass work and injection of organ and piano in just the right spots. The songs are well-crafted, highly melodic, and rife with stellar musicianship. The 2020 release La Fonda had Jack Rabid of the Big Takeover describing David’s songs; And like a craftsman painstakingly putting together precise pieces, he plaits a folk tapestry with intonations of western music (like country Neil Young duetting with Willie Nelson), singing long experience of humans that come and go. His human touch shades quiet emotions, observant but not detached, on such beauties as “Burn Clean” and the almost parental “Figure It Out” (“All those lessons you’ll never learn”—acquiring wisdom is often a struggle.) It’s another masterclass of how to make something so gentle and involved speak so powerfully in song.
On September 29, 2023, the band will release Every Morning at Five, its 5th album with the trio as its core. Much like the previous four albums, the trio gets stellar assists from supporting players on a number of the tracks. Luis Conte (James Taylor, Phil Collins) adds percussion and William Gramling (Rickie Lee Jones, Shelby Lynn) soars on piano. Alfonso Rodenas sings and plays keys.
Unlike the bands previous albums that are often filled with stories of loss, change and strife, David has written the bulk of this album from a place of love and gratitude. Songs like “Every Morning at Five”, “A Companionable Silence”, “I’ll Take You On” and “Up the Coast” showcase a new genre for the band, the unabashed love song. With lyrics rendered with the same attention to detail as the songs with darker themes, these songs are uplifting and life affirming in a decidedly new manner. A lyric from the song “Every Morning at Five” summarizes the albums lyrical theme:
When do I fall in love? / Every morning at five, You toss and you turn / Barely open your eyes Smile at me and roll over / Onto your other side That’s when I fall in in love / Every morning at five
As on the band’s two previous offerings, 5-time Grammy winner Alfonso Rodenas takes the helm as record producer. The bulk of the album was recorded at Rodenas bucolic home studio in the Malibu Canyon Hills with the trio sitting in a semi-circle and playing live. The overall effect of the production is a breezy, jazzy, folky California feel that you’ll want to listen to over and over again.