Ep43: Lou Barlow (Sebadoh / Dinosaur Jr / The Folk Implosion) on building a body of work…however the fuck he wants to
A founding member of the groups Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh and The Folk Implosion, Lou Barlow is credited with helping to pioneer the lo-fi style of rock music in the late 1980s and early 1990s. His stunning fourth solo album “Reason To Live” is out now.
After decades on the road and the never-ending hustle of life as an artist, Barlow has tapped into a new confidence in the chaos. In 2021, the concept of balance feels particularly intimidating. Now more than ever, it’s clear life isn’t just leveling out a pair of responsibilities. Instead, we’re chasing after a flock of different ideals with a butterfly net. On “Reason to Live”, he has come to an understanding of that swirl rather than trying to contain it.
After albums with Sebadoh, Dinosaur Jr., Folk Implosion, and under his own name, listeners may have felt they knew the construction of a Barlow song, even that they knew Barlow himself. “People have this vision of me as this heartbroken, depressed guy, but this record feels so true to who I am, to this rich life I now have full of people I love,” he says. “The songs culminated over the last five years to show that music has returned to its central comforting role in my life. Now I’m home.”
In this conversation, we discuss:
- letting go of self-criticism and comparison to focus on creating a body of work
- making albums at home – how combining digital tools with cassette tape recordings makes for something unique
- the quest for an undeniably beautiful song
- the self-inflicted anguish of releasing music into the world
Things to do next:
+ Wrap your ears around Lou’s new album “Reason To Live”
+ Listen to “Certain Dance Circumstance” (Lou Barlow) and “Waltzin With Your Ego” and “Someone You Love” (The Folk Implosion)
+ Subscribe to Lou’s YouTube channel, and follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
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Have a lovely day xo