Harvest Verses, the first full length record from New Bedford, Massachusetts’ Wire Lines, is coming on vinyl soon. Blind Rage Records is releasing it on clear, green and blue variants. In addition, their first video for the song “Lines in Sand’ is here now. Check it out below.
Wire Lines’ Singer Kevin Grant explains writing and recording the album, making the video and having a physical copy we can hold. He says,
“You can release the whole thing with the click of a button and we desperately wanted people to hear it. At that point we had no label interest, and a physical release can take months. And a lot of the weight with that, especially with the vinyl– is not in your hands. You’re at the mercy of the plant where it’s pressed, so it just became this thing where our desire for people to hear the record ended up outweighing our sort of strategy with it, so we released it online this past Spring. Luckily for us, James at Blind Rage Records heard it and immediately set the wheels in motion for getting the vinyl version out through his label.”
They recorded completely to tape using analog equipment with Alex Garcia-Rivera at Mystic Valley Recording Studio. Garcia-Rivera also mixed and mastered the record.
“It went great, [guitarist] Jeremy [Medeiros] had worked with him [Garcia-Rivera] before. We’d done two records in a row with Trevor [Vaughan at the Colosseum], and it was kind of like ‘let’s change things up a little,’ just so we have a slightly different sound on the new record. Jeremy pushed for us to work with Alex and at the same time the idea of doing an entirely analog record was really appealing to me. It had been a while since I had been able to do some strictly analog recording, so I was excited to do that. We knew that he was going to be a guy who would understand our music and would be a good fit for what we were doing.”
Wire Lines is a band that works quickly, writing music and recording albums. Bassist Ryan Parker and guitarist Jeremy Medeiros have been writing and playing together since the 1990s and Harvest Verses, as a whole, sounds like it.
The band’s Bandcamp biography states, very tongue in cheek, “Jeremy and Ryan have played in bands together before; musically, this sounds like some of them.” It also states, “Ted hasn’t played drums in a while; but apparently it’s like riding a bike.” That may be true, but they’re beyond a fixed gear bicycle; they run hard and fast, more like a Ducati Motorbike than an old Skyway BMX. Another quote from Bandcamp says, “Kevin appears to be upset about politics.” Grant puts that sentiment into greater context,
“I definitely touch on political ideas on the record and had this record been written three years ago, those might not have been the lyrics. I wasn’t setting out to write hot takes on the year 2020, and if anything I try to avoid being too topical. I want songs to have a shelf life and hopefully an indefinite shelf life. I try to think long-term.” He continues, “Somebody– no matter who they are, or what their political leaning is, or what country they live in or what decade it is– I would like this to be a record that they could still listen to and not be like, ‘I don’t get this at all.’ They shouldn’t need a crash course on ‘America, 2020’ before they hit play on a record. It should speak on a level that is relevant to everybody.”
Grant explains a Wire Lines song is a moment in his life– he encapsulates emotion and he writes, like the rest of the band, quickly. He’s putting a time stamp on life with his words and moving forward with the music.
“I never deliberately write lyrics for an album with a set idea of, ‘this is going to be a concept, here’s what this record is going to be about, this is about a breakup or whatever.’ But records tend to be written along a timeline. You know what I mean? You don’t make a record and the first song you wrote 15 years ago, the second song you wrote last week, the third song you wrote four years ago. I mean, maybe some people do, but I typically don’t. I think what usually happens is you finish your last album, then you write songs for your next album, then you record that album. So whether you plan it or not, often a record becomes a slice of life as to at least where your head is at that time.”
Grant likes to,
“Pretend new songs don’t exist until they tell me they are ready for me to come up with vocals. That way I don’t start writing in my head to a version that might end up getting scrapped.”
Grant and Wire Lines grew “Lines in Sand” this way, from Medeiros’ guitar to the video.
“”Lines in Sand” is a song about a person who is so scared of outsiders that he has decided to live within the confines of a circle he has drawn in the sand on a beach. As his fear grows he makes the circle smaller and smaller, hoping it will be easier to defend. Eventually he has made his imaginary turf so tiny that he can neither escape the incoming tide nor the flames from his campfire. He burns and drowns rather than simply step away from the circle. On the way out he reminds us that he survives inside us all.”
They recorded the song late in their time at Mystic Valley. They value all their music equally, but Grant explains “Lines In Sand” is a great representation of the album as a whole work of art. He summarizes,
“Videos are sort of like calling cards, so it makes sense to use a song that incorporates a lot of the different things you do in one neat little package. ‘Lines in Sand’ is heavy but melodic, has an interesting rhythm, and Jeremy and Ryan are both sort of showcasing their respective playing styles well in this one. People would come away with a very inaccurate idea of who we are if we had released some of the other songs with a video instead.”
Diving deeper into the concept for this video, Grant details why Wire Lines chose a vintage clothing boutique and how they got to the look of the video.
“The idea for the video came to us deep in the middle of the pandemic. We hadn’t played a show in a long time, so I thought ‘Why don’t we go down to Circa [Vintage Wear] and play for the mannequins?’ It also plays off the song itself, which is about bigotry and xenophobia: the concept of other people as being less than human. The owner of Circa, Chris Duval, has always been a great supporter of underground music and the shop is visually incredible.” He continues, “We had our friend John Robson film it for us. John has a real knack for lighting and focus that gave the footage a warmth we were looking for.”
They’re pleased with the video and stoked on the record, overall grateful it’ll be in a physical form. Grant concludes,
“We’re super, super happy about that and that it’ll be out on vinyl, we’re just happy in general. We’re very, very grateful that we’re able to make this record. We’re already working on new material […] and very pleased with the record. We’re happy that people seem to like it so far and that’ll be out soon physically.”
Get a physical copy here.