“It feels like a resurrection,” frontman/songwriter Ben Kyle says of Shadowlands, Romantica’s fourth album and first new release in seven years. Shadowlands will be released on Last Chance Records in the US and At The Helm Records in The UK on February 10th, 2017.
Indeed, the emotion-charged set marks a creative rebirth for the sprawling Minnesota-based ensemble, with Kyle’s evocative vocals and vivid songwriting illuminated by his bandmates’ organic instrumental rapport. Romantica’s lush, melodic songcraft has won considerable attention in the Americana/alt-country community, but the Irish-born Kyle’s unique perspective resists easy categorization. While the band’s personnel has shifted and evolved over the years, its unique musical vision has remained consistent.
Shadowlands’ 14 lovingly crafted originals encompass intense introspection and celebratory uplift, with such heartfelt tunes as “Let the Light Go Through You,” “Harder to Hear,” “Give Your Heart a Shelter,” “Here It Comes” and the heartfelt Gram Parsons tribute “Cecil Ingram Connor” reflecting on life’s trials and triumphs in a manner that echoes the album’s title.
Romantica’s extended hiatus—during which Kyle released a self-titled solo album as well as a collaborative effort with Carrie Rodriguez, pointedly titled We Still Love Our Country—was a product of the band’s disputes with its former label, as well as the realities of family commitments.”
“I have five children, and between us there’s about thirteen kids in the band,” Kyle says. “We needed those years to ground ourselves and our families, so now we’re coming back together with a little more life experience.”
Now, with Romantica back on track and ready to hit the road, Kyle is decidedly enthused about the band’s future.
“We’re not taking ourselves too seriously, and we’re doing it for the right reasons,” he says. “We’re doing it for the joy of it, and because we love it. We’re a community of friends who like being together, and it’s valuable and fruitful for us to continue making music. It’s not about being successful in the generic sense. It’s about bringing the gifts we’ve been given and giving them to each other and the world in the way that only we will.”
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