“The Fox” from Seattle 5-piece John Dillon off ‘The Lost Estate’ (Plume Records)
“The Fox,” the second single off The Lost Estate, the forthcoming debut album from Seattle 5-piece band John Dillon, which is slated to be the inaugural release from new Seattle imprint Plume Records, due out on vinyl and digital formats on March 25th.
“Making things sleazy yet heartfelt was a fun, sometimes hilarious, process,” says Dillon Sturtevant, songwriter and frontman of Seattle band John Dillon, on recording the band’s debut album The Lost Estate. The album was written both before and after Sturtevant moved from the East coast to Seattle. “Being in a new place, trying to make ends meet, exploring, and encountering different people and different cultures has a way of making you hyper-aware and creative,” Sturtevant reflects. “Some of these songs I brought over to the Northwest with me, and they grew as I did.” The 11-song collection is characterized by lush production, hi-lo-fi sounds, sincerity laced with humor, humor laced with melancholy, and a melodic bent.
The Lost Estate, named as a kind of castoff reference to a French novel that has lurked in Sturtevant’s mind since he read it years ago, hazily navigates through sun-bleached remembrances. “Writing these songs, I was concerned in a very fundamental way with the almost mystical nature of passage from childhood to adulthood, and the ways in which we package up our past,” says Sturtevant. “The way we write our own stories subconsciously and earlier life’s moments become these golden-hued parables from another more mysterious, more fanciful world.”
Sturtevant had this to say about “The Fox,” the album’s second single:
“The Fox” was one of the very first songs I wrote for the album, and it was really the one where I had the first glimpse of what The Lost Estate would sound and feel like when it was finished. I think it’s important to have a song like that – one that becomes the jumping-off point for all the other sounds and themes of the record. Naturally, we ended up making it the first full song on the album for that very reason. That song, and the moment in which it was created, marked a shift for me — I felt like I’d found a way, through that song, to write for myself and for other people, without compromise.
John Dillon is a band in Seattle playing the songs of Dillon Sturtevant. Songs that had lain spinning on hard-drives or clinging to cassette for years, transforming and shifting over the course of life-changes (including a move out to Seattle), finally made it to the light of day when members of Tomten, Kithkin, and friends got together to perform them live, for others. The first record The Lost Estate coalesced out of this backlog of music and became sharpened, expanded, and will be available on vinyl LP from Plume Records in March 2016, and is already in the world on cassette from Never Anything Records. The single “Death Mask” will be released by Plume Records on January 22, 2016.
The album is a collection of pop songs, more or less, if a genre tag helps. Characterized by lush production, hi-lo-fi sounds, sincerity laced with humor, humor laced with melancholy, and a melodic bent. The Lost Estatewas recorded in collaboration with engineer Andy Meyer in the summer of 2014 in Seattle. Live, the songs continue to transform and evolve in the hands of the players. John Dillon will be touring the Northwest and beyond in late March 2016.
“The track mixes vintage aesthetics with modern dream pop. It is reminiscent of Edwyn Collins‘ “A Girl Like You” with a sci-fi tilt. – Surviving the Golden Age
“John Dillon’s Lost Estate is an actual place. It exists. Somewhere. Los Angeles, probably. Stuck between stations in the FM static borealis connecting Laurel Canyon haziness of neo-folk longhairs with home studios to the studied, but emotive, new-boy crush of the New Romantics posted up in the valley somewhere planning their descent on Hollywood. Crooning harmonies, inflected through sun-bleached, end-of-the-country folk reach over and through the golden saccharine daze of thick synthesizers where they hang in the air between long takes of baroque prettiness or bloodshot-through-the-heart rock. The kind that sounds perfect accompanying autumn walks or blasting through a peaking bar PA. Actually, I have no idea where Dillon’s lost estate is. Someday, when the San Andreas rips California way from the lower 48 like a no longer needed vestigial appendage, it may appear, until then we can assume it is in California.” – Tome to the Weather Machine
“‘Death Mask’ is a rather nostalgic mix of Joy Division-esque vocals and lush 80’s synths. In other words, this is the band you need to watch this year.” – The Daily Listening
“The Lost Estate is pop music reaching back and then forward through time. Dillon Sturtevant has composed eleven tracks utilizing special channeling abilities. Stretching through multiple dimensions of the continuance, these songs herald root full tunes. While something of the past can be heard, John Dillon has thrown this tape forward creating sounds budding with new growth.” – Lost in a Sea of Sound