Premier: The Heavy Love Trust - "Tour Song"

Photography by: Teagan West

>>While the retro sound on alternative music stations has gained popularity over the last decade, it’s easy to feel out which ones have little to no authenticity to them. Production tricks and using old equipment doesn’t necessarily make a band have a true 1970’s vibe, but The Heavy Love Trust doesn’t need to lean on tricks. It’s old school rock, with a New Riders of the Purple Sage feel and a dash of irony a la Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks. Its self-labeled as Indie-Americana and it probably couldn’t have had a better label. Even the name of the band evokes something of a hippy era street band, a bands band, the group that everyone who owns too many records spins incessantly. There’s a deep cut ambiance to their first and only released track. The Heavy Love Trust could have easily existed fifty years ago but sounds completely at home in 2020.

Ambivalence could prevail on the first listen. Lead vocalist, and guitarist Benton Sillick doesn’t have a pop star voice, but it’s cozy, homey, and campy. It’s a bit of a higher range, like he might be able to cover Sugaree really well, but has more of a talk existing as swagger, a campfire story kind of voice reminiscent of John McCrea. Ambivalence turns to appreciation as the lyrics denote a musician who’s been on the road too long, become too used to it, but seems unperturbed by it. The chorus chimes in with “There always kinda nothing to do” and you can actually feel the long awkward days on tour when there isn’t much to do but wait for your stage time.

The rest of the band is great, too. The lead guitar has a distinct sound and it’s unclear if it's because of the room it was recorded in or if it was just fancy post production. It has a hollow body sound to it, a generous and accurate reverb that truly stands out and adds to the feel of the song. It’s dreamy, like Benton spent the day on Cobb’s Hill, lazily staring at the clouds passing over his head, the Rochester City skyline somewhere behind him, looking like every other city he’s visited in years of touring. The guitar sound emulates feeling and it’s nice to see musicians come full circle with an idea and stick the landing. But these particular musicians are seasoned, this is isn’t young raw talent waiting to blow the lid off, this is calculated years of experience, and relentless passion at play.

Benton admits “I've been playing bass and trumpet in other people's bands in Rochester and New York City for the last 20 years. I figured it was time to pick up a guitar and do it how I want." The feeling of freedom certainly exists in this first track release, but a newfound freedom, not the one the Kerouac found on the Road, but the freedom to write what you want, be who you want, and not feel beholden to anyone else. There’s home in these lyrics and in the feeling of the melody, as if he’s been searching for something so distinct for so long and finally found it. He finally found it in some chords that have been there forever, in the home that’s been there just as long. This is a group that’s just finding their footing but it won’t be a race, it’ll be a slow and steady walk, dreamily coming upon vistas and lookouts and already ready to climb a little higher.

Click here to listen to "Tour Song"

Find the hardest surface and offer it up to me

That'll do just fine, I wasn't expecting to sleep

Cramped up legs and a headache that lasts all week

Hot addicts in cold attics, just looking for somebody to meet

New faces that I'll never see again

I'm truly pleased to meet you but I'm not looking for a friend

Glowing image of my love but there's always something to do

But it's always kinda nothing, it's always kinda nothing

Always kinda nothing

There's always kinda nothing

There's always kinda nothing to do

My shoulder's raw from moving mountains meant to shake you to the bone

For a moment I've found a new home

Close my eyes waiting for the sun to disappear

It won't rise again at least not this year

I don't wanna go but I'd really hate to stay

Move past the pasteurs like piano scrolls with notches of hay

I can't kick the feeling that there's better ways to spend my time

But there's always kinda nothing, there's always kinda nothing

Everybody's favorite isn't ever all that great

I'd love to have some dinner but I think we're running late

I quit drinking and now I don't have to run

I quit smoking and I think it's the worst thing that I've ever done

If I could do this forever, I might still quit by noon

Look out the window in the winter time just waiting on the flowers to bloom

I'd disappear without it I do more and more day to day

But I'm always kinda nothing, always kinda nothing

Always kinda nothing

I'm always kinda nothing

There's always kinda nothing to do

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