After three years without a new full length album from the esteemed songwriter Brad Lauretti, This Frontier Needs Heroes has completed their fourth studio album Real Job. The title provides insight as to how he has spent his time in between albums: working hard. Lauretti did everything he could to become a full-time musician. He faced the daunting journey of touring full-time at every possible house show, festival, bar, brewery, and listening room across Florida, the South, and even the West Coast.
Much like their previous album 2013’s Hooky, the sound required assistance from additional band members which brings a relentless wave of energy that refuses to cease from track to track with the help of guitar, violin, drums, bass, pedal steel, and keys. The main difference with Real Job is a slight genre change, working from an eclectic indie rock mix to a more straight ahead Folk/Americana feel, which makes for their most concise sound yet. The hard work put in over the past three years has only helped to increase their musical maturity and establish themselves as a reputable source of talent, and live performance.
The rich musical history of Athens, GA, must have seeped through the walls of the Glow Studio because this album is filled to the brim with creativity, intricate lyrics, while giving off a vibe just shy of effortless. You can easily picture the band members leisurely rolling through the complex rhythms while Lauretti’s chill attitude contrasts the lyrics tinged with fiery instances of revolt. This new collection of songs was written over a two-week period during October 2015 while Lauretti was attending the Stetson Kennedy Songwriting Residency at Beluthahatchee Park (Fruit Cove, FL), this is the same place where Woody Guthrie wrote over 80 songs and Kennedy, himself, wrote some of his greatest works providing a solid source of inspiration. While the overall sound may be simple, the lyrics will challenge you to think. There’s nothing “easy-listening” about it.
Real Job kicks off with a nearly seven minute number titled “It Don’t Make No Sense,” immediately setting listeners up for what lies ahead. From the rollicking and hard-hitting “I Love Immigration” to the simple “My Heart Tells Me Yes,” each track rises to a prestigious level of folk perfection. Noteworthy songs such as “Colorado Camping Catastrophe,” and “Don’t Let the Dreamers Die” draw attention to the necessary topic of freedom in our country. “Never Gonna Be The Same” drops the album’s high energy down a notch (in a good way!) before leading into the easy-going vibe of “Everyone’s In My Dreams” at the album’s conclusion.
The approach to this album is simple and direct. After four albums, TFNH knows what it’s capable of and this album is proof. TFNH has built their reputation on stellar songwriting. This shift in genre should be welcomed by long-time fans who can admire just how talented they truly are. Years of touring, working, and facing life’s challenges have molded them into a powerful force to be reckoned with and made for great songwriting material. When it comes down to it, they’re a good old-fashioned protest band incessant on making their lyrics center stage. This collection of songs is exactly what America needs in 2016!
The album was recorded by Jesse Mangum at the Glow Studio in Athens, GA. Joining singer-songwriter Brad Lauretti (Vocals and Guitar) are Sadie Frederick (Vocals and Violin) Cash Carter (Drums) Ryan Vogel (Bass) Adam Kurtz (Pedal Steel) Jon Loyd (Keys).
This Frontier Needs Heroes have spent the past 5+ years playing shows all over the world. Logging thousands of miles in their car, touring the greatest cities of North America and Europe, selling one record at a time, making one fan at a time. This determination and DIY ethos brought them on an epic journey around the world, playing clubs, houses, and festivals.
Originally from Brooklyn, NY Brad is now based in Nashville, TN. They have performed at Folk Alliance International, Magnolia Festival, Hickey Fest, Gamble Rogers Folk Festival, Gram Parsons Guitar Pull, End of the Road (UK), Reeperbahn, Incubate, Athfest, Clean Water Music Festival, Connection Festival, Daytrotter, Savannah Stopover, WDVX Blue Plate Special, Stetson Kennedy Foundation Literary Landmark Celebration, and the winner of the Artsville Songwriting Contest.