HAWTHORNE HEIGHTS has released the emotive title track from their upcoming eighth full-length album, “The Rain Just Follows Me”.
Singer JT Woodruff commented: “I really wanted to name this album after those lyrics. It perfectly described what I’ve been going through. During the day, everything seems totally fine, but when I lay down and turn out the lights, my world comes crashing down. If this happens on tour or at home, I usually just think of the coast. I think of the way I feel, watching pelicans on the pier. And usually everything will stabilize, but for some reason nothing was working. When you’re gone for months out of the year, it starts to feel normal. Your entire family and circle of friends have to rearrange their lives to stay connected to yours. And as much as this seems like a woe is me, touring band sob story, it really isn’t about that at all. It’s about how our society has taught us to work ourselves to exhaustion, and at the end of day, our prize is an early grave.”
“The Rain Just Follows Me”, which will be released digitally on September 10, 2021 via Pure Noise Records, was produced by Grammy winner Cameron Webb (ALKALINE TRIO, NOFX, MEGADETH). The 11 tracks stand as some of Woodruff‘s most resonant writing to date, as he unravels themes of both physical and emotional distance from his wife and daughter in Ohio as well as personal identity as the frontman of as one of the most iconic emo acts of the new millennium.
“The most unbelievable part of this story is that this entire album was written and recorded before the pandemic,” Woodruff shares. “All of this darkness and turmoil is basically a summation of the coldest and loneliest nights I’ve tried to reconcile for the past 17 years.”
Eager to hit the studio again as soon as possible after their 2018 release “Bad Frequencies” — and probably a bit naïve about how much they could physically take — the writing sessions for LP8 took place in unusual places: in sound checks and dressing rooms, in far-flung rehearsal studios after marathon overnight drives. HAWTHORNE HEIGHTS weren’t just burning the candle at both ends; they were splitting it in two, then letting the flames engulf the smaller pieces completely.
Singing lyrics like “I can feel my body breaking down, California sun. I can see the colors spiral out, nowhere left to run,” Woodruff tapped into the feeling of searching for something positive to cling to for lead single “Constant Dread” featuring labelmate Brendan Murphy of COUNTERPARTS.
“When writing, I tend to dig through memories, both good and bad. In, ‘Constant Dread’, I was searching through one of my favorite tour memories. Warped Tour 2017, in the tour bus village. One of our favorite hardcore bands, COUNTERPARTS, was hosting karaoke. As I was standing there, Brendan hit play on Niki FM, and then threw me the microphone, and as I was singing my own song to a jury of my peers, I realized that I need to loosen up. This should be fun, not agony. When I thought about that moment, while laying bed in the throes of the terror-filled gaze of the moonlight, I knew we needed to put Brendan in this song. And I’m so glad he said yes, because absolutely crushes it. ”
“The Rain Just Follows Me” track listing:
01. Constant Dread
02. The Rain Just Follows Me
03. Holy Coast
04. Tired And Alone
05. Thunder In Our Hearts
06. Spray Paint It Black
07. Dull Headlights
08. Palm Canyon Drive
10. Words Can’t Hurt
11. Bambarra Beach (The End)
Most of all, this upcoming release is quintessentially HAWTHORNE HEIGHTS. It’s who they’ve always been – they just needed to push down the heartache and strife long enough to rediscover those intangible characteristics.
“We want to create the best songs that are accurate depictions of our lives and connect to other people through our songs,” Woodruff says. “I hope this record helps people understand that others out there are thinking like them — and thinking about them. Everyone gets poured on in life; we just want to provide an umbrella.”
HAWTHORNE HEIGHTS is composed of JT Woodruff (vocals, guitar), Mark McMillon (guitar, backing vocals), Matt Ridenour (bass, backing vocals), Chris Popadak (drums).
Throughout their long and storied career as one of the most iconic emo acts of the new millennium, the quartet have overcome obstacles at every turn — but these roadblocks always seemed to come from external forces, from unscrupulous record labels and the shifting whims of fickle audiences to unimaginable personal tragedy threatening to derail them.
Despite the odds, HAWTHORNE HEIGHTS have overcome it all: earning two gold albums (2004’s “The Silence In Black And White” and 2006’s “If Only You Were Lonely”), penning some of the genre’s most well-known songs (“Ohio Is For Lovers”, “Saying Sorry”), and remaining a hard-touring act nearly two decades after forming in Dayton, Ohio.
Photo credit: Courtney Kiara