New York’s Mail the Horse are all set to release their eponymous album, a move which sees the band shifting gears from their earlier rootsy releases to a more mature outlook on life,. They are, after all, hitting their thirties, a time when bands traditionally step back from the craziness of the rock and roll treadmill and reassess what they are all about.
The bands songwriters are Michael “Hess” Hesslein and Mike “Donny” Amidon, and Hess explained the new album’s outlook this way “Recording this was really eye-opening in terms of realizing what this band really is. My original idea had been to record in a proper studio like last time and we tried that for a few days and just hated it. We scrapped those recordings and went up to Donny’s place to do it ourselves. We really wanted to get away from outside influence, so we did it at home, no producer, tracking live—just pure Mail the Horse.”
For much of Mail the Horse’s existence, the band were fully immersed in each others lives, living together in a dilapidated basement apartment in Bushwick Brooklyn affectionately referred to as Gates Motel. These days, things are a little different. Gates Motel is no more. Amidon moved out of the city. Bassist Brendan Smith owns and operates a screen printing business. Pedal steel player Chris May moved to New Mexico, lives in a camper, and is working on a novel. In 2016, original drummer Will Lawrence joined The Felice Brothers and was replaced by Andrew Joseph Weaver. Gone are the days of constant parties and mid-20s debauchery, but the bond between band members has continued to grow.
And what of the featured song? Well, ‘Pitch and Haw‘ just oozes that early Seventies solo album by a big rock star smoothness and introspection. It speaks of love, and regret at being unfeeling.