There are many, many things that I love about my home state (Michigan). For instance, I like sitting on the beloved Swinging Bridge in my hometown or swinging on the swings at the Lexington Harbor with my homies during the wee hours of the morning. I also love that my mom will make me Gołąbki even when it’s the middle of July and 90+ degrees. Though I enjoy these things a lot when I come back to visit, my FAVORITE thing about Michigan is the music that comes out of Detroit, Ann Arbor, and other Southern Michigan cities…
Enter: the Hard Lessons.
Their latest album, Arms Forest, was released today and I honestly couldn’t wait for this day to come. Not because I didn’t have the album – but because I think this album deserves to be heard by as many people as possible. Yes, folks, it’s that good. Most of the songs from the album are already on my “Top 25 Most Played” playlist on iTunes. Obsessed? Oh yes. There’s no shame in admitting it, either.
To celebrate the release of Arms Forest, the Hard Lessons (consisting of Augie and Korin Visocchi on guitar/vox and keyboard/vox, respectively, and Ryan Vee on drums) played three homecoming shows: two in Hamtramck, MI and one in Detroit (Photos soon!). I attended all of them and I dragged my friends with me and these shows converted my friends into Hard Lessons fans. They decided that after much deliberation (in this article, “deliberation” means listening to Arms Forest after the Detroit show for hours, for hours, for hours…), Arms Forest is the best album they have heard this year thus far. I hadn’t thought about that yet, but I have to agree.
Every song on this album has something different about it. “Roma Termini” has a little bit of a techno thing going on, “Wedding Ring” is such a beautifully composed song, “Manoogian Zoo” has the verse “So welcome to the Detroit Zoo…“ in the song, which gives me a warm, fuzzy, nostalgic feeling for some reason. Of course, you will have some typical, Augie–and–Korin–will–kick–your–face–in songs, such as “Sound the Silent Alarm” and the title track, “Arms Forest”. After hearing the latter mentioned songs (or seeing them live), you’ll understand why “kick-your-face-in” songs are a very good thing.
This article is probably getting a little bit too long, but I can go on for days about the album and how incredible it is. Not just the songs, either, but the concept of Arms Forest and what that means, and the album artwork and how pretty the vinyl is… However, I think it’s best if you just go and buy the album right now. However, if you want me to talk your ear off about Arms Forest, you know where to find me. Maybe. ~ Jade Amey