Tim Lannen fronted a band called The Diggs from 2004 to 2009. Although they were ultimately under-appreciated they were a seminal NYC band of an era where the music industry was collapsing, mp3 blogs reigned supreme, and nobody knew what the fuck they were doing. The prevailing wisdom was to keep pushing forward, keep making content, with the hope that it would somehow turn into a way to build a career. The Diggs were my favorite band, and they were my friends. They were a constant source of inspiration. By 2010 we all woke up from the dream, bands parted ways, and it was clear that the content race was a race that nobody would win. There was no quitting your day job, no more major label debut.
For the next few years Tim lived a quiet life in his apartment in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. He kept busy running a coffee shop in Tribeca, making music casually with friends, starting and abandoning different projects. He didn’t stop making music but his creative output was less song-oriented and more experimental in nature. Tim shared songs with me from time to time - long drone-y synthed-out instrumentals, remixes of tracks by Phoenix and Arthur Russell, noisy electronic experiments. It was never not fascinating, but with a few exceptions, it also seemed like he was holding back, protecting himself, and masking the vulnerability that had made the songs he had written with his old band so riveting.
Then last August Tim sent me an iPhone demo for a new song via email with the message “I think I want to be in a band again.” It was clear that some sort of awakening was taking place. The next day another song followed, and the day after that. Within a few weeks, he had written an album’s worth of material, in what seemed like a fever dream. Tim’s Heaven O’Clock EP is a return to a sort of focused, direct, guitar based songcraft, but it also expands on the palette of his previous work with a more sonically adventurous spirit. There’s a sense of ease and confidence to these songs that’s undeniable. It’s as if all the experimentation of the last five years was building up to this moment.
I remember once talking with Tim about a song I was working on, and expressing frustration over how long it was taking to get the lyrics right. “I know man,” Tim said. “Me too, and then all the sudden shit writes itself.” That’s how Tim songs feel to me. He makes it sound effortless, and revelatory. The songs feel like they’ve always existed, waiting for us to find them, so we can get lost in them, and maybe even be healed by them. I don’t know if music comes from divine inspiration or not. I don’t care either way. I just know that listening to songs like these makes me feel a little more alive, and connected to the world around me.
-Brian Sendrowitz, March 2016
released May 7, 2016
Tim Lannen - guitars, vocals, drum machine
Brian Sendrowitz - guitars, vocals, keyboards
Steve Pellegrino - bass
Paul Reardon Rovira - drums, percussion
Produced by Brian Sendrowitz and Tim Lannen. Songs by Tim Lannen (ASCAP)
Cover Art by Andrew Wilgress and Brian Sendrowitz
all rights reserved