Brooklyn, New York
Intention is the difference between art and an accident—what is meaningful and what is interesting. Certainly, art can be spontaneous or calculated, reckless or controlled, but it is always driven by intent—that desire to say or explore or make sense of something.
Brooklyn, NY’s Living Room has always been an intentional band, cerebral in the most literal way; on Heavy Mind, the band’s third full-length album, their intentionality is of full display. It’s not just in the technicality of their playing—the way chords lean against and skid off and pass through each other on songs like “Stuck In Your Head,” or the way the steady rhythm beneath “Heavy Mind” allows complexity and color to bloom elsewhere in the song. And it’s not just in the introspective lyrics on songs like “Notice Me”—where, beneath an explosion of reaching chords and cymbals, guitarist and vocalist Scott Fitzpatrick begs, “Notice me / help me feel real / You know this / Make me real.”
Indeed, the beauty of Living Room’s music is on their purposeful songwriting process. While writing Heavy Mind, Fitzpatrick wrote out the structures of some of his favorite songs by iconic artists like Tom Petty and the Beatles. “I would listen to those old albums and write out the song structures of song I really liked, recording them in my notebook,” he said. “Before this, I never payed much attention to what other people did, other than the general sound or style of things I liked.” This approach is most noticeable on songs like “Another Me,” who's ringing guitars and rascally beat steer the song away from the noisy enormity the band’s best known for; still, he track contains the same trademark melodic weight, the same dissonant sentiment, the same emotional resonance.
Floating somewhere between emo’s vulnerability and post-hardcore’s blistering intricacy, Heavy Mind is a powerful expression of owning reality as they transition into a new stage of life. “This album is about being shot through the canon of escapism of our twenties and ending up in our thirties, however contrived that sounds,” Fitzpatrick states. “You have to face your situation and come to terms with the responsibility of realizing what’s going on in the world and how you can take care of yourself and those around you in a positive way.”
Living Room faces this situation with intentionality—through contemplative songs that reflect the complexity and weight of adulthood, that seek to say and explore and make sense, that epitomize the power of art.
Scott Fitzpatrick: Guitar and Vocals
John Nicholls: Guitar and Vocals
Kevin Dobbins: Bass
Fred Trumpy: Drums