Luke Lalonde Announces Sophomore Solo LP “THE PERPETUAL OPTIMIST” Out November 22 On Paper Bag Records
Luke Lalonde, the acclaimed lead singer of indie-rock mainstays, Born Ruffians announces his forthcoming sophomore solo album The Perpetual Optimist will arrive November 22 via Paper Bag Records/Warp Publishing. Lalonde released the title-track single today, sharing an endearing video. In his time with the Ruffians and over five full-length records, Lalonde has become known as a prolific solo writer in his own right, collaborating with a variety of artists across several genres, including Caribou. In 2012, he released his debut solo effort, Rhythymnals, which found Lalonde exploring a more electronic space, moving from his signature New Wave howl to a more echoey, crooning pure-pop sensibility. The release was met with notable acclaim, with critics drawing attention to the impressive breadth of Lalonde’s creative capacity.
Pre-order The Perpetual Optimist here.
Now seven years on, Lalonde gives us his newest worldview, with The Perpetual Optimist. Steeped in observational concern for the slowly progressing environmental erosion that threatens all life, Lalonde finds a lyrical voice on the largely jangly, lo-fi, Americana-infused tracks, juxtaposed against pretty instrumental moments, providing breaths of fresh air amongst the perceived chaos. Perhaps best explained by Luke himself:
“I was moving back to Toronto from New York and I found myself pulling into a cemetery. I just sort of ended up there. I frequently end up in cemeteries, where I’ll sit parked in my car or on a bench to jot some ideas down–lyrics, poems, drawings–surrounded by strangers in the dirt. I move a lot.
When I was a kid my grandfather, Charlie, would bring me to one cemetery in particular where he used to work as a teenager. I think it made him feel young. It reminded him of a carefree time. As counter intuitive as that may seem on the surface, it actually makes a lot of sense: You’re younger than pretty much anyone in there, and all of them are about as carefree as you can get. We would go and chat with the groundskeepers, drive around the plots, and he’d point out all the people he knew who were buried there. Charlie and June were my mother’s parents. Their lives were marked with more death than most would be able to handle. He and June are buried there now.
Now that I’m older, I travel a lot. In Germany, I saw row upon row of tombstone after tombstone marked with the same date of death. Reading the same date over and over can move you to tears. In some places there will just be a building stocked with innumerable small compartments, thousands of names on silver placards, much like a post office. Except instead of holding people’s flyers and junk mail, they have your mom, or your uncle Terry. One of those had a nice koi pond outside. Call me old fashioned but I still prefer a big park filled with coffins, at least aesthetically speaking.
Recently I’ve been worrying a lot. I think a lot of people have. There’s a lot of bad things happening out there. I worry mostly about the planet, and the animals living on it. I worry that we humans, so prone to consume and destroy, do more evil than good. I think our planet is God and she is attempting to buck us off now.
But I also worry about myself. I worry about the people I love, and about innumerable inane things throughout my day that eclipse the fact that we’re undergoing a mass extinction event. I don’t know if we’re equipped to comprehend an apocalypse that moves so slowly. Or maybe we’re all just wired with a firebrand optimism.
So as I sit surrounded by decaying corpses and summer skies, waiting for a muse, I’ve realized, that’s what the record is about, more or less. I sense we’re all bound for that eternal rest. My pen hovers above the page and I think about humanity in the 21st century, suspended on a wire in a hurricane.”