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Almost out of necessity, Les Savy Fav’s sixth LP was born in a pocket reality: singer Tim Harrington’s Brooklyn attic. “A freaky barn,” as he calls it, the room was built over the ruins of black mold and plywood, a de facto studio. Different from anywhere they’d ever recorded, the space allowed for a much-needed rebirth for the long-running post-hardcore band. In that in-between, they pieced together what would become their latest evolution, OUI, LSF, growing the album’s title and cover art out of a patch of grass. “The record grew organically — literally and figuratively,” Harrington notes wryly.
It’s impossible to talk about Les Savy Fav’s latest without acknowledging that it’s been more than 10 years since the guys released 2010’s Root for Ruin. But it’s not like they had a messy breakup or quit to become bankers. They just had a lot of living to do. “When we finished our last record, there was a sense that if we were going to do more, we wanted to do something more ambitious,” Harrington says. “I think it took us a while to even get in a space where that was possible.” In the interim, the band has been busy building growing their families, taking and losing jobs, and living through the various ecstatic and hideous aspects of growing older. Remember, these five men — Harrington, Seth Jabour, Syd Butler, Harrison Haynes, Andrew Reuland — have been friends and collaborators since 1995, when they attended Rhode Island School of Design.
The resulting album is a glorious mix of tragedy and comedy — studded with nods to the band’s eclectic musical taste — delightfully weird and utterly them, tripping from ghostly bops to ruminations on love and loss to some seriously debauched and crazy nights. A decade may have passed, but Les Savy Fav is still growing — like their musical range, like the seeds that grew into their album art, like their legacy. Here’s to 10 more years of delicious lunacy.