Queen City Sounds Podcast Ep. 37: Felix Bechtolsheimer of Curse of Lono

Felix Bechtolsheimer of Curse of Lono, photo courtesy the artist

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.

Curse of Lono on Instagram

Curse of Lono on Facebook

Curse of Lono on Twitter

“Invisible Closet” by Sara Gougeon is a Tender Anthem About Respecting Personal Boundaries

Sara Gougeon, photo courtesy the artist

Sara Gougeon’s “Invisible Closet” calls for coworkers, friends and family to respect the space of those who are not ready to come out yet. The spare guitar and gently strummed guitar melody and Gougeon’s intimate vocal delivery could apply to any situation calling for grace, sensitivity and respect for the boundaries of other people. The hush cymbals and minimal percussion and strings bring out the delicacy of the composition beautifully. While not obviously influenced by “Silent All These Years” by Tori Amos and “If It Be Your Will” by Leonard Cohen it shares with those songs a tender and compassionate sensibility that is rare in popular music where often ego, swagger and brashness are the most valued qualities. Sometimes a gentle touch is much more powerful and benevolent sensitivity a more effective frame of mind in songwriting. Listen below and follow Sara Gougeon at the links provided.