Leland Sundries makes music from, for and about outcasts
When Nick Loss-Eaton looked at the songs he’d written for what would become the debut full-length for his band Leland Sundries, he thought, “What am I going to do with these?” Some were rootsier, folk-based tunes that fit in with his previous releases—two studio EPs, a single, a live EP—that worked when Leland Sundries was basically a solo project. Others were straight-up rock ‘n’ roll songs that demanded full, electric-band treatments.
Personally, he was going through transitions. “Part of the story of this record is that between the start of writing the record and finishing demoing and recording, I got sober,” says Loss-Eaton from his Brooklyn home. “I think there’s this subtext that I see in a bunch of different songs.” And somewhere in there, he had open-heart surgery.
The rock stuff won out, barely. He wanted a ’70s-influenced vibe, informed by bands like the New York Dolls and Exile On Main Street-era Stones, but also more modern artists like Spoon. Loss-Eaton, who works as a music publicist by day, writes character-based songs with titles such as “Stripper From Bensonhurst.” Whether the songs rock out, as on the stuttering “Bad Hair Day” or are more pensive, like the twangy “Maps Of The West,” they’re connected by the stories they tell.
Hence the record’s title: Music For Outcasts. “I feel like all these characters are trying to get to someplace, but they’re kind of lost,” he says.
“I was really concerned with how I would tie these things together,” he says. “We have a country waltz, but we also have something like a late-’70s power-pop song; we have this kind of garage/punk thing on there; we have another Americana song, but it has a synth on the bridge. What’s the common thread here? I’m writing for people who feel like they don’t fit in. Whatever that means.”
—Steve Klinge; photo by Nixxi Blanck