Sometime back Becky & I supported a Kickstarter project for Andy Osenga's - Leonard the Lonely Astronaut.
While that is a true statement I should explain a few things. I am rabid about some of the music I like, specifically Andrew Peterson. I mentioned at the dinner table that I liked a song that was on the kitchen radio and my 7 y/o asked me if it was Andrew Peterson. I didn't realize I was that obvious.
Well, Andrew Osenga is another Square Peg guy and Rabbitroom artist who was developing an album and had a Kickstarter campaign. The concept (from Kickstarter):
My next solo record is going to tell the story of a man named Leonard Belle. He lives 300 years from now and loses his wife in a sudden accident while their divorce is being finalized. In his rage and grief he takes a gig driving a long-distance space freighter for a year. (Due to relativity, by the time he returns to Earth everyone he knows will be old or dead.) He decides to bring along some antique instruments and recording equipment (just like the stuff I have!) and will make a record.Now THAT is an ambitious concept. Plus he built a spaceship in his garage to set the mood and played in a spacesuit to get into character (artists - go fig).
So we supported (more true to say Becky supported my supporting) via Kickstarter. I was skeptical if this would work, but we joined in. Two days ago he pre-released three acoustic tracks. I am amazed and glad we supported the project.
Unlike anything I've heard in quite some time, it captures emotion. I think some of my favorite songs are my favorite because they excel at conveying emotion. They transmit the heart feelings by telling a story in 3-4 minutes. Whether it's joy, anger, loneliness, fear or comfort.
These 3 songs remind me very much of listening to Pink Floyd concept albums, The Wall or even The Final Cut. The beauty of a concept album is that the song can be part of the grand story instead of trying to stand alone.
The Leonard concept is out there and risky in if it is too remote to connect to the listener. It didn't take long listening to hear how Leonard is at the very ends emotionally. His feeling of impending loneliness got trumped by actually being alone. So he goes a step further and sits in a cave and seals the door. I haven't heard the whole album, but I'm guessing it isn't all about seeing rainbows and chirping birds
My hope is that in the production/engineering the emotional vocal strain isn't lost. I think I'm hooked because they express the heartache so well. I'd like to hear the rest of the album in a similar stripped down acoustic format. But if the production goes further in telling the story, I'll be having this on repeat for a long time.
If you are interested, if you pre-order the album you can download the 3 tracks.
[Editor's note: one of the songs can be heard at the Rabbitroom -dan]