Friday, September 11, 2009

"YouTube Friday" debuts with the Lonely H

Beginning today (knock on wood), I'll select a music video or film clip for contemplation, discussion and sheer enjoyment to pass the time on the most anxious of workdays.

First up, the music video for "The Singer" by the Lonely H, viewed above.

The Lonely H are near the top of a list of fantastic Seattle-area artists who deserve their Big Break. Out of the peninsula town of Port Angeles and now residing in Seattle proper (at last check, most or all of them were UW students), this band frequently falls under the "Too good to be true" assumption. However, they wind up proving themselves to be both too good and very true every time.

The group has recorded three albums, and its oldest member is 21. They are frequently dubbed a "young CSNY" or "young Allmans," and that has some merit. However, the Lonely H's sound is not an affectation developed by listening to "Wooden Ships" over and over; though the group is very familiar with the Woodstock generation's music, their songwriting is obviously organic and original.

And the long hair, sideburns and late-Byrds clothing? Also genuine, not a gimmick. Some of the most surprising things develop out on the Northwest coast, many miles and many trends away from Los Angeles and New York. Oh, they're aware of their image, and acknowledge it in an "aw-shucks" sort of way. Sometimes to unusual success. These talented young men — nice guys, all — told me once about a sightseeing jaunt, in full regalia, through SF's Golden Gate Park. A guy came running — not sauntering, but running — up to them from across the lawn, wanting to sell the band some pot. They respectfully declined, but I got the feeling they regarded the incident as a badge of honor.

If I were engineering their near future — and, no doubt some are — I would suggest skipping the natural urge to relocate to LA. Instead, the Lonely H should do a late-60s Beach Boys and spend some time in Europe — Holland? — next summer. Now, that would be a great, genuine environment for recording the next record.

"The Singer" is the Lonely H's most recent video, released this summer to coincide with a U.S. tour.  This beautiful song represents the "easygoing" side of their sonic duality. To hear a more rockin' offering, check out their video/single from last year, "For Barbara."

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