"In the beginning, we all start as a tiny seed, then a tender sprout. With water, light and the hope of love, we grow up toward the skies above."
John Dragonetti and Blake Hazard recorded HONEYSUCKLE WEEKS, their second album as THE SUBMARINES, as summer vines blossomed and the sun coaxed green grasses up around the stones leading from their East LA home to their garage-turned-home-studio. Honeysuckle Weeks weaves together themes drawn from their immediate surroundings and experience: the garden outside, and the push and pull of life and love inside.
After touring behind their debut, Declare a New State, in the US and Europe, The Submarines were ready to make an album that felt good not only to record but to play in a live setting. “Our first album was hugely cathartic for us to make, dealing with a breakup and getting out the sorrow, but we’ve been ready to freak out and have a lot more fun this time around. We’re thankful not to have to make that record again, to be in a better place,” says Hazard. Honeysuckle Weeks also marks the duo’s first album made collaboratively; Declare A New State was written separately during a breakup and recorded upon their reunion.
Sonically, Honeysuckle Weeks is a glorious collage of The Submarines’ wide-ranging influences, from old-school dub (most evident in tracks like “1940” and “Fern Beard”) to intricately layered electronica (as in the psychedelic-classical “Submarine Symphonika” and “The Thorny Thicket”) to 60’s pop (as on “Swimming Pool” and the Santaria-inspired “Xavia”). While some songs started with a traditional guitar-in-hand approach, many began with instrumental tracks composed by Dragonetti, which Hazard then completed with words and melody, drawing on each of the their musical strengths. Dragonetti--who masterminded the recording--says, “The glitch is enjoyable, but so are the Beatles, so I just try to follow what the song calls for.” The duo was also joined on a number of tracks by the phenomenal Section Quartet.
The record is as diverse in theme as it is in sound. The time-warped “1940” conjures the things that go bump! in the night, while “The Wake Up Song” portrays a couple’s start to the day--the act of preparing to leave the house, setting the stage for relationship dynamics. “You, Me and the Bourgeoisie” addresses the need for social consciousness, while acknowledging the hypocrisies inherent in our own contemporary lives. The most prevalent theme in the record, however, is the garden. Whether it’s thorns wrapped around the heart in “The Thorny Thicket” or plants taking back the city in “Fern Beard,” the leafy tangle surrounding The Submarines’ studio made its way into the songs with a fresh energy. The days when the garden grew while the album blossomed were The Submarines’ Honeysuckle Weeks.
Honeysuckle Weeks will be released on May 13, 2008 through Nettwerk Records, followed by US tour dates.
"We’re not living the good life, unless we're fighting the good fight."