John Moreland reveals ‘Harder Dreams’ from ‘LP5’, out February 2020 via Thirty Tigers20 August 2019
American singer-songwriter John Moreland is now sharing new track ‘Harder Dreams’, lifted from his forthcoming fifth full-length, ‘LP5’, which arrives following 2017’s ‘Big Bad Luv’ released back in 2017 via 4AD. A masterful display of songwriting by one of today’s best young practitioners of the art form, ‘LP5’ is Moreland’s finest record to date and is due for release February 7th via Thirty Tigers. ‘Harder Dreams’ – the latest cut from the record, following the recent ‘East October’ – premiered via The Fader and is also streaming over at Rolling Stone.
Working with a producer for the first time––in the shape of one Matt Pence (Jason Isbell, John Grant, The Breeders)––the new album’s experimentations with instrumentation and sounds capture an artist whose confidence has grown, all without abandoning the hardy roots rock bed and the lyrics-first approach Moreland’s work demands. Though, there was a time when Moreland thought ‘LP5’ may not happen. Wary of expectations and his cemented status as a writer’s writer and critical darling, the Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Moreland found writing difficult at best––and completely undesirable at worst.
“One of the ways I got back into liking music again was to let go of the idea that every time I’d go mess around with an instrument, I’d have to be writing a really good song. I just gave myself the freedom to go into my little music room every day and mess around with different instruments and different sounds. It doesn’t have to be anything. It doesn’t have to result in anything,” Moreland points to that liberating rediscovery as a major influence on the sonic choices that shape ‘LP5’.
For Moreland, falling back in love with music also coincided with an even more personal change. “This past year, I’ve been getting into mindfulness and being kinder to myself,” he says. “I was really on that wave when I started writing these songs. I guess it shows.” It does show––beautifully. And no more so than on album opener “Harder Dreams”. Out today, the track is a clear-eyed confession, not of wrongdoing, but of disbelief in a life defined by unworthiness and threatened by damnation. Echoing percussive punches make the music sound like a transmitted message, fighting its way through the atmosphere.
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