You won't find the Golden Bears' incredible first album on CD. "Vinyl is about all we listen to," says guitarist Seth Lorinczi. "Also, we wanted to highlight Julianna's art." Wall to Wall, just released through Viva Voce's Amore!Phonics label, comes on thick, sumptuous vinyl with drummer/vocalist Julianna Bright's beautiful cover illustrations in full splendor.
Bright, a visual artist, and Lorinczi, a writer and cook, recorded the album in their Portland home while expecting their first child. The duo, who met as members of a mutual friend's band, have constructed something remarkable with Wall to Wall. It's a progressive and varied work, with moments of abstract impressionism, medieval folk balladry, circular metal riffs, free jazz saxophones, and airy angelic hymns. Lyrically and musically, it depicts a world where fanciful dreams and real-life domesticity intertwine and inform each other. Bright says, "The record marked a really important time for us, where both of us could see the long arc of our creative lives and our life as a family."
Since the album's completion, the Bears have played a handful of gripping shows. "Our aspirations right now are to play in town every month or two," says Lorinczi. The new parents haven't kept idle, though; Lorinczi is a member of Viva Voce's new country-rock side project, Blue Giant, and the Bears have already recorded a new EP.
"The Four Lullabies project came about for a limited-release art zine called Hot and Cold," explains Lorinczi. "Being parents, we recognize a shortage of good kids' music. Quite possibly, they'll be the focus of our next album."
"Yes, a full album of lullabies that comes with a hardcover book of illustrations!" suggests Bright. "It's a lot harder to rehearse now. Lullabies was an outpouring of that reality. Playing loud music at all hours... this doesn't happen anymore. But we can play these songs with our daughter. I definitely feel compelled to make art and music explicitly to enchant our kid, so it's good the quieter medium feels satisfying for now—though it will always feel so great to play loud!"