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The way we learned to live is fading fast/I guess we never bargained for a crash.
For Dave Hause the American dream is a broken promise, a childhood ideal that has been shattered by the reality of the past
two decades. On the musicians second solo album, Devour, Hause scours the foundation of that crumbled dream in an attempt
to discover how everything we believed growing up could have turned out so differently. The album, initially written to become
the third record from Hauses rock band The Loved Ones, follows his 2011 solo debut Resolutions, a disc that allowed
the musician to understand his potential as his own artist.
As Hause, a Philadelphia native, began penning new music for a new album from The Loved Ones, it became clear that the group,
who had taken a break after their second album, had stalled. These songs, however, which showcased a clear thematic journey,
were meant to be vocalized by Hause and over the past few years he transformed them into Devour. Hause solidified the albums
sequence before even going into the studio, aiming to craft a narrative arc that drove the album from its dark, heavy first
half into a lighter, more hopeful tone. A thematic line of melody runs through the songs, reflecting the overarching ideas
in the music itself. The disc explores the heartbreak of shattered childhood promises of a better world and concludes with
Devour is about that inherent American appetite, Hause says. Its in all the songs in some degree.
Theres a reason why Tony Soprano became such a huge American icon hes this guy with this insane appetite
for women and food and power. I think for the American public to latch onto a figure like that says something. Some of the
positive things about America come from that as well, but theres a real sense of reckoning that comes from devouring
everything in front of you. Is it ever enough?
The rock songs, tinged with folk and punk tones, are firmly rooted in Hauses own upbringing and the sensibility that
comes from growing up in a blue collar neighborhood driven by the lingering anticipation of upward mobility. In the lyrics,
the fulcrum around which the album revolves, Hause grapples with this working class ideal and the fact that Americas
recent shifts have caused it to no longer fit. From The Great Depression, which centers on the unfulfilled promises
laid out in the Reagan-era 80s, to the more specific-minded relationships of Fathers Son, Devour comes
to terms with the loss of youthful innocence in a rapidly evolving world.
I wanted to shine a light back on what was going on, Hause says. It was a topic that was close to me and
I wanted to write about it. In the end, it leaves you with the idea that if you have music and love you may be able to save
yourself. Its going to be alright. That simple John Lennon concept of all you need is love. Thats how I wrote
myself out of the dark and the music begs the listener to come take that risk as well.
Once Hause had the track sequence and overall narrative in place he enlisted producer Andrew Alekel along with musician and
co-producer Mitchell Townsend. The producers helped Hause collect the right musicians to build the songs in the best way possible,
including My Morning Jacket keyboardist Bo Koster, Social Distortion drummer David Hidalgo Jr. and bassist Bob Thomson. Frightened
Rabbits Scott Hutchison, Alkaline Trios Matt Skiba and The Watson Twins also appear on several tracks. Hause and
his crew recorded the album over several weeks from mid-February to mid-March at Grandmaster Recorders LTD. in Hollywood,
CA, focusing on giving each song the right tone while maintaining an overall musical aesthetic that helps tie the lyrical
It was this group effort, Hause says. A lot of trust went into letting Andrew and Mitch be the architects
of the record. I trusted that we would get in there and they would know who was right for the music. They wanted to bring
these people together in this great studio to get a record that was greater than the sum of its parts. Im glad I trusted
them because it was great to work with everyone there.
For the musician, who has toured with Social Distortion, The Gaslight Anthem, Bouncing Souls and Chuck Ragan since launching
his solo career, Devour is a cathartic release, both sonically and lyrically. Hause recently relocated to California and is
committed to pursing the music he feels best reflects him individually. The journey on the album, the search for the light
at the end of the tunnel, mirrors his own trek. The record closes with the delicate introspection of Benediction,
a song that pulls lyrical lines from all the tracks that precede it. After all the ruined promises and the culminating disappointments
of the world, Hause ends the album with the sentiment of possibility. It's love my friend in the end that can save us
tonight, he sings. So are you in?