by Craig Howieson
A fleeting collection of lo-fi wonders
In the time it takes you to read this write up, you could have listened to well over half of In The Store by The Lost Days. A new collaborative project between Tony Molina and Dawn Riding’s Sarah Rose Janko. With that in mind, I will attempt to keep this brief.
Drawn together by their love of traditional songwriting and basic analogue recording techniques, the duo paint the harder aspects of life with a rosy hue on their debut record. More than a little indebted to the work of The Byrds, the tracks here sound like they were recorded in the back of a splitter van as the duo coast down a highway in search of sunnier shores, leaving their troubles in their wake. But despite the recording setup being basic, there is an intimate warmth woven into the arrangements as acoustic guitars, rain drops of bass and Janko’s irresistibly comforting voice providing a protective layer from the world outside.
On For Today, a track about the everlong battle with sobriety, Janko takes on the role of a friend on the end of a late night call, reassuring you that you’ll get through this, one day at a time. As the delicate electric guitar line and pulse beat of bass transport you in the song’s closing seconds, it is a reminder that it’s ok to let yourself be carried away. Even for the briefest of moments.
For those familiar with Molina’s work, the fact this album has ten tracks and clocks in at around thirteen minutes will come as no surprise. He is, after all, a master of delivering micro-doses of musical perfection. However, on previous records, his mini masterpieces have always felt the perfect length. In contrast, each of the tracks on In The Store make you wish they would hang around just that little bit longer. It’s a neat trick. In a time of disintegrating attention spans and an accelerating need for instant gratification, Molina and Janko force you to take a pause. To contemplate what you have just experienced, and feel the longing for something more.
Dealing with themes of dependency – on substances, on others and on yourself – The Lost Days have created a record that forces you to contemplate what comes after. And when making a change can be one of the hardest things to do in life, being inspired to look forward is a powerful thing indeed.
If you’d like to support us by subscribing to our zine, click here – it’s just £6 a year for four copies (inc p&p).