Album Premiere: Perspective, A Lovely Hand To Hold – ‘Lousy’
Posted: by The Editor
Since forming in late 2013, Perspective, A Lovely Hand To Hold has become a staple within the DIY community. The hardworking, New Hampshire based group, has been on the grind since the beginning of their career. Touring relentlessly, and working with various labels including Broken World Media, Bedside Records, and more, they aren’t slowing down any time soon.
We are pleased to be premiering their newest album, Lousy, ahead of its official September 27th release date through Lauren Records. Lousy is the personification of taking inventory of your life, looking around and saying, “okay, fuck what now”. Pardon the language, but the blunt reality of life, getting older, and facing relationships head on are some of the most notable themes of the album. Not to be boiled down to another coming of age emo record though, Lousy is a mature addition to the group’s catalog.
If you were to put pins on a map and trace the band’s career, it may be a little tough to navigate. However, we got you covered. We spoke to vocalist Jacob McCabe about their formation, their involvement in the DIY scene, the recording process, ketchup flavored Oreos and more. Stream the album while you read along below.
So you guys have been around for a little while now, could you tell me a little bit more about the story of how the band began and how you grew from there?
It started as we were ending high school. The original members of this band all used to be in older pop punk bands, and we started doing our own projects for a little bit, and then we just got back together to work on what ended up being this. At the time it was just some songs that Matt [Cook] and I were writing, and then we brought Ben [Walker] and Andrew [Dwyer] into it. So it was really coincidental, and then we just put the record together.
We recorded it with Mike Moschetto at the time, who had done a lot of our other projects work and catalog. So we just went with him and made a record, and then we started playing shows with the band, and it just caught on a little bit and we all had fun participating and contributing, so we kept doing it. That would’ve been back in late 2013, when we originally formed and recorded, and then early 2014 is when music started to come out.
How do you think that being in the DIY scene especially, has helped the growth of the band and maybe hindered it in some ways?
I think the biggest thing is you tend to grind a little bit harder. So every little step, every little minor success, you really earn it in that extent. It’s certainly more gratifying in those ways. As far as hindering it… I don’t know, it’s not really a bad thing. It’s just that it’s such a specific scene, you know what I mean? So if you fall into that as your home base, sometimes it can get a little bit hard to venture off into other subcategories of music. Which I think we’ve always tried to do a little bit, but especially when it comes to touring. When you do a lot of the same touring, you tend to be a bit repetitive in that way.
How’d you start to get to working with Aaron and Lauren Records?
Our friend Sam from Just Friends, Sam Kless- one time when we saw him- I don’t know if we were out west or it was when they came here. I forget. We played a couple shows with them and then Sam was saying that we should talk to this guy, because Sam had shown him our music and he liked it. We had all the demos done for the new record and we were going into recording. We had pitched it to some other labels and heard some things back, but nothing really came together. On that list was Aaron, who was pretty keen on making it happen.
So we went with it, just because we liked some of the other bands that he’d worked with, and we had that recommendation from Sam. So we had that word of mouth, hearsay, positive reinforcement there. We liked it, and we’ve been working together now for a bit, since early this year, to get to where we are now. Those things lead up to the release and tour and all that other stuff. It’s been great.
So going onto the album, what do you think is different about this one compared to your other work?
Well, for starters, this is the first one that the recording process was a bit different than how we’ve done records before. Generally, we had worked with one individual and we did it all in one sitting. We did a lot of stuff that way before. We got to spread this out a little bit more and we got to be a little more involved in how the record got made, which was really fun for us.
Our bass player, James [Palko], went to school for audio engineering, which is also a pretty standard thing now. It seems like every band has an engineer in their band in some capacity, but he’s pretty good at what he does, and we tracked all of the instrumentation besides the drums with him. So we got to really do it ourselves, which was nice to be hands on for me and Ben. Making more decisions on to what are we making, what amps are we using, what tones, and all those things.
We were much pickier and it was consecutive. So, when we did that, I think James came up from New York and stayed at my house for 10 days straight. We have a rehearsal space studio here in Nashua, and that’s where we did all the tracking. Then the vocals, the organs, and all the other stuff we did at a church in Nashua. So I don’t know, just making the record was really different. The songs are different enough from our old catalog, I think. I try to, as much as I can, make it sound different, but it still sounds like us for sure.
So, when you go to sit down and write a song, what does that look for you?
Well, for this band and this project, it’s been different. A lot of the music gets written first and then we tend to put lyrics and melodies on top after the fact. I’ve always done that with this band because I like to know that I could listen to the song without any lyrics and melodies and know that it stands up on its own.
So that tends to be how we write for this band. So yeah, it’ll be just an idea on anyone’s part and then riffs and guitar parts and rhythms and stuff like that, we’ll work out parts. I was actually just recently going through a bunch of videos on my phone and hearing some of the first renditions of some of the songs on the record; and you can hear those changes of going through and demoing and then finally getting to the record where we made a bit more better arrangement decisions.
Could you tell me about some of the inspiration that went into the album?
Yeah, I think it’s a bit different for all of us. For drums and rhythm, I know Matt is really pretty heavy into jazz drummers and, on the polar opposite side of things, he’s really into heavy music.
Oh wow. Yeah. Interesting.
Yeah, it is interesting. Honestly, when you hear the record you actually really hear that nuance of both of them, which I think is really funny because I’ve known Matt a long time and he just brings out both of those sides of things, which is great because I like both of those things too. Sometimes you want the part to just hit really hard and then sometimes you want it to be a little bit more nuanced. So he does that really well. Those are his things that he likes to bring to the table.
Ben is really all over the place. If I’m speaking for everyone, he has a pretty vast musical taste. James and I tend to be a little bit more aligned on what we like, which is good because we’re both lunatics in that way. But for this record, you can’t really hear any of it to be honest. Some of these songs were almost a year old by the time we put them on the record.
But as far as the lyrics and the storytelling and that aspect of it, was there any inspiration behind that or events that influenced?
Yeah, each song has its own little minor backstory. Lyrically, I tend to keep things a bit transparent, sometimes they’re a bit vague. It’s not a concept record by any means. It’s very much just the songs that were in my headspace at that time. So there’s certainly some songs about losing in a relationship. There’s songs in there about getting older and learning from your own mistakes. There are songs about finding new love and connection. They each have their own touch-bases. The only real connection that we did with this record was that the opening line of the record is the same as the closing line. We wanted to open and end with the same feeling, like you said, that story. This is where it starts, this is where it ends kind of thing. Which was cool. It was nice to play off of some themes like that.
Do you have any favorite tracks?
In a lot of ways, it depends on the day. There’s a lot of cool parts in the record. I’m certainly proud of it. When I listen back on it, there’s always that, ‘Aw man, I wish we had done that, or we had a little bit more time, we could have done this…’. There’s always that minor regret, but overall, I’m really happy with how it came out.
Favorites though… The outro of the album. We’ve actually never done anything like that, where there’s this looping, and a chaotic chord progression that just builds. So I mentioned before, influences. If you’re familiar at all with The Beatles catalog, on the last song they do on Abbey Road, “The End”, on the outro, they swap solos. It’s John, Paul, and George. They all do solos in a circle, basically, on guitar. So we did a similar premise with me, Ben, and James, and we just soloed on top of this ridiculous movement of … I don’t know, it just sounds like utter chaos, but it’s really cool.
It was fun to make and we got to mess with all these cool pedals and sounds. So I think that one’s very different than anything we’ve done before, which I like a lot. Then, some of the songs on this record are maybe a bit more poppy, in the sense of the structures of them are a bit more, like I said, traditional. That ABC type song structure, which is also a bit different for us because a lot of our older catalog music is very linear, where it’s just consecutive parts that interchange.
What’s something that went into the recording process fans wouldn’t pick up from just listening to the album?
I think over the course of eight days, James and I slept a total of maybe 20 hours. It was a very labor-of-love thing. We were racing against the clock, because we did 12 songs, which is a lot of music to do in a short amount of time. It was fun though to just be stuck in a room and you can’t get out. Even if you want to take a break, you really can’t. We burned ourselves out in some ways, but in a lot of ways I think we wouldn’t have got what we got if we had more time. Something about that pressure of having to deliver something sometimes brings out some really cool stuff is what I’ve found. James did eat a Oreo dipped in ketchup. There should be some proof of that footage on our Twitter media somewhere. For no reason. He has a weird infatuation with ketchup, so we were like, Oh, put it on an Oreo. He did and it was regretful he said.
I was going to ask how it ended up.
He wasn’t into it.
I’m surprised they haven’t made a ketchup flavored Oreo yet.
Honestly, right? It could be a whole nother market, but you’d go through a couple of different recipes to get it.
That could be your merch line. There you go. You guys can do something ketchup flavored, a ketchup thing.
Could do a Warhol thing, with ketchup.
Lastly, I noticed a few different It’s Always Sunny jokes in your lyrics and just the theme in general. So I wanted to ask you, who is your favorite character?
Oh, gosh, that’s hard. They’re all very, very funny. I think most relatable character would be Dennis, because he has that compulsive disorder that I can relate to. He’s very neat and neurotic and weird. Secondary to that, I think Mac’s character is just so funny. He’s just so funny. But I honestly love them all a lot. Two years ago on tour, we were in California, we drove over to the bar that they shoot at for the exterior shots and stuff. I love them all so much, but I would say maybe between Mac or Dennis.
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Emily Kitchin // @DeathNap4Cutie