Lynhurst‘s debut album, Field Day, compels pop listeners to recall what it is to move through the confusing web of young adulthood. Its songs wave through a series of coming-of-age emotion and discovery. This spirited mix of poetry and sass reflects upon the perspective that is lost, gained, and changed.
“Valentine” by: Lynhurst
Nika: What compelled you to make the name change from The Abdomen to Lynhurst?
Jake Abdo: The Abdomen started a long time ago when Matt and I were preteens, we had a retro garage rock style. So that was the Abdomen, it was Jake and Matt Abdo and we thought we were men, a big family name pun. The name lasted through the evolution of the band, then Mari started joined the group about six years ago and started writing and singing pretty heavily about five years ago. So the name Abdomen didn’t really fit anymore, (and) playing in L.A. to crowds that didn’t know the family name made us realize that we needed a name that represented the new direction that Mari’s influence was taking us. The Abdomen was a great name that had run its course.
Mari Abdo: We have lived within a mile of Lynhurst park our whole lives and we were advised to pick something close to home not just some random name. Lynhurst represents a lot to us; our childhoods growing up in South Minneapolis, and we feel really connected to the neighborhood and to the park. It fits our sound very well.
Nika: Why the transition from garage rock to pop?
Matt Abdo: We have always tried to play to our strengths, and Mari’s voice added a friendly, female influence that is better represented in a pop style.
Nika: Your new album, Field Day is complete. What are some of your fondest memories from that recording process?
Mari: We spent a lot of this past year writing and recording in Los Angeles, CA. There are a lot of memorable moments in that time. However, one of the first songs on the album, “Exactly,” came out of a trip back here in January/February, the coldest part of the winter. The song reflects high school relationships, and the different personalities you come across in that period in life.
Jake: I remember working in Venice Beach, CA. with a great composer and producer by the name of Tom Pile, a Minnesota native. We were working into the long hours of the night… I noticed that it was a very different world at night than the trendy, vibe day environment. So many homeless people gathered there at nights that were not visible in the day time.
Nika: How would you describe the feeling and sound of this album?
Mari: It’s very organic and natural. Our sound isn’t particularly processed although we do like pop melodies. Like Matt said, the approach in recording was very band-centric.
Jake: It’s very sweet and sarcastic. A lot of the songs come from Mari’s point of view. It’s fun to (be) the brothers (and) to facilitate while her imagination is allowed to run wild. There is a sort of whimsical, youthful, female feel to the songs. Playing a lot of all age shows, it’s fun to see a lot of young girls really latching onto Mari’s poetry.
Matt: Making a record always seems to take longer then you would like. We started making the record here in Minneapolis (with) Jeff Irondale before going to work on it in L.A. We tried to figure out how the record was going to feel and how it was to be presented. We try to make things sound as good as they can and put a lot of attention to the things you wouldn’t normally think are that important. Although we have been outside of the state, everything from how we approach the recordings, the name, to where we started the record is very grounded in Minneapolis. We try to be honest in what we’re doing.
Nika: What does “organic” music mean to you?
Matt: There are so many computer programs that can make music for you. Our definition of organic would be a recording of real people playing the music, rather than everyone recording separately. Listeners have developed high expectations, i.e. constant perfect pitch, which makes it hard to completely eliminate all technology from the recording process. We use only what is necessary by minimizing the use of a click track, and the like.
Jake: We don’t approach music in a mathematical format, rather, we trust the direction that the feel of a particular song will lead us to.
Nika: When I heard you perform your song “Valentine”, I was transported to a feeling of intoxicated adoration, “It’s love that shuts my eyes blind…but you’ll never be mine”. I believe that most of us can relate to that hypnotic fog and uncertainty. What inspired those emotionally arousing lyrics?
Mari: It’s a song about two different people. The verses describe a relationship that has run its course, while the chorus is from the perspective of another anguishing unrequited love that will never flourish. In the end, both have a sense of where they stand.
Nika: Was it different collaborating with people that were not your immediate band members?
Mari: Learning how to co write with people is dramatically different from writing with someone you know. It was valuable to learn how to write with people that were not your band members. Everyone has emotions to express, but co-writing teaches you to pen those emotions in a manner that will be understood by everyone. Even Matt and I have played with word association. He will say something and I will try to get down to the meaning of it all by attaching all these details, when all he was doing was making a simple statement or observation. Oh well.
The completion of the album is the beginning of more work. Lynhurst will be playing the east coast, TBA. Lynhurst stated that being in a studio is just the beginning; it’s playing and connecting with people that they will be enjoying in the near future.
The Fine Line Music Café will be welcoming Lynhurst on Saturday, September 5th. Music starts at 9 p.m., cover at the door is $5 for 21+ and $8 for 18+.
Your copy of Field Day can be purchased at iTunes today.