Lontalius brings beautiful simplicity to his third album
Someone Will Be There For You
Musical wunderkind Lontalius has spent much of the last year locked away at the iconic Stebbings Recording Centre in Auckland, writing and refining the music that would become his third full-length album Someone Will Be There For You, out today.
'Someone' is the first album that has been fully self-produced by Lontalius, drawing on all he learned from his time and collaborations in Los Angeles to create an album that's beautiful in its simplicity.
When Side One was released in late 2020, The Listener music writer Graham Reid called it “…more of his elegant, exquisitely understated bedroom-folk-cum-electropop”. Side Two continues the trend, with the addition of five emotive tracks.
"I’m really excited for this album to come out in full," says Lontalius.
"The product of coming home from LA and growing up a little, it feels like a turning point of sorts.
"Giving in to simple songwriting and production - honing in on the things that drew me to make music in the first place; emotion, intimacy and the warm feeling of a song that speaks to you, a feeling that can’t be replicated anywhere else."
Someone Will Be There For You is out now on streaming services. Made with the support of NZ On Air.
FaintSomeone Will Be There For YouI'm GoodDialtone Ft Quiet LukeYou Make The RulesTo Be HappyDon't You Think I Do Enough?CarouselThis Light Is Hard To SeeI Walked Right Into It
My first motivator behind this record was the idea of refining and simplifying my creative process. No more spending 3 years on a record - act on instinct, use what I learned in LA but don’t overthink it. Back to basics, in a way. I have been thinking a lot about what the songwriting of Lontalius means to people and how it relates to myself. My music has always been emotional and honest, but I felt I had been writing in a way that was too insular. I wasn’t really letting other people (the audience, or collaborators) into the songs! A discussion I’ve had with friends and every collaborator is “Where is the entry point for the audience? Am I singing to them or at them?” And of course musically it is a little different to the last record. More acoustic guitar, more natural sounds, more dynamics. Let the songwriting shine and keep the life in the music.
At 24, Eddie Johnston has released more music than many artists do in their careers. The songwriter and producer behind Lontalius has already released three EPs and two albums, plus several more EPs and many remixes as his electronic producer alter-ego Race Banyon.
His music has attracted many millions of streams, with over 200k monthly listeners on Spotify, and yet Lontalius is better known in America than his homeland. He was signed to Brooklyn-based indie label Partisan Records for his first album I’ll Forget 17, then spent five years in Los Angeles, collaborating with the likes of Grammy Award winning producer Om’Mas Keith (Frank Ocean, Erykah Badu) and Jim Fairchild (Grandaddy, Modest Mouse) on his sophomore album All I Have, which he released in late 2019 upon his return home to Wellington, New Zealand.
The homecoming allowed Lontalius to begin a new season of independent songwriting, with the knowledge gained from his collaborative projects embedded in his mind to draw upon. Moving to Auckland in March 2020, he almost immediately went into lockdown in his new home, emerging two months later with a new collection of songs. He took these songs into studio 4 of Stebbings Recording Centre, (where he shares a studio with hip hop duo Church & AP), to develop and record the songs with musicians including Alex Freer and Tom Healy, who also feature in his live band.
The studio space has given Lontalius the luxury of a creative space with no hard deadlines, allowing him to lean into his craft, and self-produce his third and most ambitious album to date. With the release of Someone Will Be Here For You, Lontalius will demonstrate why he’s one of New Zealand’s most exciting musical talents, an artist with an astonishing set of skills, and the ability to write a song that will stay with you for days.