It took moving to Seattle and getting his heart stomped on for Harper Lines to get a record full of breakup hits. After the Harper and the Moths (whom we profiled in this week's issue of Phoenix New Times here) frontman said goodbye to the Valley for what he thought was the love of his life, a breakup sidelined him and stranded him in a place far, far away from his former home. So, he turned to what he knew: music.
"(My ex) broke my heart in one of the most fucked-up ways you can possibly imagine," Lines says. "I should have seen the writing on the wall and the field of red flags in front of me, but I was in love."
With his friend and The Dead Eyes of London frontman Shaun Shulman, the pair traded melodies and ideas back and forth The Postal Service-style to capture the heartache. They crafted a full-length album appropriately called Love Songs for the Damned, recorded in Scottsdale.
"The idea was to combine different musical influences from '60s soul and folk into a pop/rock record anyone could listen to and enjoy, while subtly conveying the angst and honesty of a heartfelt breakup record," Lines says.
Indeed, the tracks are heartbreaking lyrically but still make you want to dance. Despite the breakup, Lines plans to continue to live in Seattle, so their upcoming Scottsdale show this Saturday, October 26 at Pub Rock Live is a rare treat.
Check out their new track, "We'll Keep Talkin'", on Page 2. Lines says "'We'll Keep Talkin'' was inspired by the casual dating/bar scene most 20-somethings and older go through while having one-night stands or casual relationships. It was inspired by my own personal experience with meeting people. The pick-up lines and the utter vacancy behind it all is alarming for someone transitioning into the dating scene."
"I tried to convey both sides of the newly single individual and the psychological motivation behind it all, the self-awareness of the hunt from a perspective of someone who's not emotionally available for anything more personal than a casual connection -- 'I ain't ever gonna try and face what I'm feeling, it's just to hard baby' -- and the detached ego/confidence that comes from not caring -- 'I can feel your energy; want to be your lover. We should spend the night getting to know each other. Saw you standing next to me, and I knew you were trouble. We should spend the night under covers.'"
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