Curse of Lono is an alternative rock band based in London, UK that formed in 2015 when former Hey Negrita members Felix Bechtolsheimer and Neil Findlay continued making music together after their former band’s split. Curse of Lono borrowed its name from the rare 1983 Hunter S. Thompson book of the same name and its songs have been informed by a literary sensibility and exquisitely soulful moods. The group’s new album People In Cars (Submarine Cat Records) is named after Mike Mandel’s 2017 photo book featuring people through the windows of cars in a Los Angeles intersection in 1970. The aesthetic of the photos parallels that of the songs with their late night, weary, existential folk blues like one might hear in the late 1980s and early 90s albums of Leonard Cohen. There is a noir quality to the songs and its themes of menace, depression and personal dissolution resonate like Ed Brubaker’s Reckless series. A version of the new album was recorded in June 2020 with each band member (guitarist Joe Hazell, drummer Neil Findlay, keyboardist Dani Ruiz Hernandez and bassist Charis Anderson) recording their parts individually. But Bechtolsheimer had lost his father that April and he began writing more songs for the album and delved deeper into his psyche and re-recorded the songs in stripped down form with Bayston pedal steel player Joe Harvey-Whyte and Boxed In drummer Liam Hutton in the first part of 2021. The resulting album is a vibrant and introspective piece of work like many long nights driving alone and leaving oneself exposed to the raw side of one’s feelings and tapping into their insight that can be covered over in everyday life.
Listen to our interview with Felix Bechtolsheimer on Bandcamp linked below and follow Curse of Lono at the links below.