As THE LUNAR LAUGH returns to stages in their native Oklahoma (as well as Texas and elsewhere), Big Stir Records is thrilled to announce our first major release with the acclaimed indie pop band. The new album NIGHTHAWKS! is an an exciting collection of never-before-released live recordings spanning the group’s full career, along with a pair of exclusive studio tracks. It’s out September 10 on CD and digital, up for pre-order at www.bigstirrecords.com and www.bigstirrecords.bandcamp.com now, and streaming everywhere on the street date.
The brightly melodic and harmony-drenched focus track and album opener “I Wanna Know” (with Lunar Laugh founder JARED LEKITES on lead vocals) can be expected to follow the recent single “Allegiance” up the indie-pop charts worldwide. Also included is “It’s Okay,” a lyrically reassuring pop tune released as a single in the wake of the band’s postponement of their scheduled concert performances due to the COVID-19 pandemic and spotlighting CAMPBELL YOUNG (who joined the duo of Lekites and CONNOR ANDERSON for the second of their three studio records, Mama’s Boy). Following these two studio efforts is a treasure trove of carefully curated documents of the band’s celebrated onstage prowess to remind fans of what they’ve been missing.
Far from a standard live album, NIGHTHAWKS! offers a rich bounty of concert recordings capturing The Lunar Laugh at various fascinating, pivotal times throughout their career. The band’s long-standing policy of recording gigs pays off with a selection of sterling, often re-imagined performances of tunes from all three of the albums they’ve released since 2015, as well as two choice covers reflecting their eclectic roots – Neil Diamond’s “Solitary Man” and Death Cab For Cutie’s “Soul Meets Body”. There’s also a band performance of “Alive” from Young‘s solo oeuvre.
Taken as the sum of its parts, NIGHTHAWKS! documents the restless creative spirit of a band dedicated in equal parts to reinventing itself and honoring its pop-rock influences. The band sports a tight chemistry and a relaxed stage demeanor as they draw material from their 2015 debut Apollo (the cr0wd-pleasing title track and “Winsome”) through their most recent watershed album Goodnight Noises Everywhere (2019). There’s a generous helping of tracks from a series of shows performed when the band was still in the afterglow of the internationally acclaimed Mama’s Boy, including the Anderson showcase “The Bedroom Door” and the rootsy “Nighthawks And Mona Lisa” from which the collection takes its title (and its visual inspiration, slyly executed by painter Lane Faglie and designer Steve Stanley).
The sound is crisp and the mixes by Steve Boaz show off the textures of the instrumental interplay and the harmonies of Lekites, Anderson and Young to wonderful effect. The sound and live energy are almost breathtaking in their immediacy after a year without gigs and in an age where concerts are typically preserved as compressed cellphone videos. Above all, NIGHTHAWKS! demonstrates just why fans should be so excited to see THE LUNAR LAUGH hit the road again, and for where the band’s creative journey takes them next as well.