Kansas City indie outfit True Lions are known for their genuine approach to uncomfortable topics, juxtaposing the heaviness through their mellifluous production and sharp narratives. On their upcoming split release with Fritz Hutchison due April 26, 2023 via Manor Records, the band adapts poems that are “near and dear” to their hearts for a new imagining as a sonic companion.
The first single from the project, “Fake Tears,” premieres on GUM today, offering a soothing cut that provides peace amidst the original work’s theme of sadness and satire from Patricia Lockwood’s poem, “The Fake Tears of Shirley Temple.” Additionally, there will be a limited run of cassettes released that are available for pre-order HERE.
The track is a lo-fi, tranquil cleanse with earthy tones that offer a picturesque texture while lounging in a relaxed state of mind. Weightless and sweet, “Fake Tears” is carried softly and delicately by Alison Hawkin’s aerial vocals and the caress of a flute to complete the atmospheric experience. However, despite the lightness of the instrumentals, the lyrics carry significant weight and examine the depth of Lockwood’s words: “How many sets of her parents are dead?/How many times is she an orphan?/Came out her mother plump at her corners like a bag of goldfish Shirley Temple, cry for us.”
“I composed ‘Fake Tears’ during a School of Song course led by El Kempner (Palehound), where I was experimenting with writing music to lyrics written by my favorite poets,” shares Hawkins. “‘Fake Tears’ is adapted from Patricia Lockwood’s poem ‘The Fake Tears of Shirley Temple’ (2014).”
“Unlike most songs I’ve written, the lyrics were the last thing added. I started with chords and a melody on the piano, then brought in my bandmates Fritz (guitars), Eli (drums), and Carly (bass) for the rhythm section. Then our bestie Daniel Cox came in with the gorgeous flute texture. We were striving for a minimal, chill sound, and I think we achieved it! We had a blast recording this at home and experimenting with underwater vocal sounds on our condenser microphone.”
“Fake Tears” is another strong addition to True Lions’ already impressive body of work. The band continues to showcase their ability to tackle difficult topics with grace and sensitivity, while still delivering a catchy and memorable song.
True Lions will be celebrating the release Friday, April 7, 2023 from 7-9pm at Velo Garage and Tap House in Kansas City.
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Cover photo: Alec Nicholas
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