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The Submarines: Declare A New State! Review

Published in Blog, Culture Bully. Tags: , .

Longtime Boston natives The Submarines have a history every bit as unique as the duo’s sound. Blake Hazard attended Harvard (oh, and her great-grandfather was F. Scott Fitzgerald) met John Dragonetti through his job at the time, putting albums together for HepCat, A&M; and Sugar Free records, and the two began collaborating from there. Now living in Los Angeles the two grew closer while Dragonetti recorded Hazard’s Little Airplane and playing for each other’s bands. A four year romance which took the duo across the world collapsed however as both Hazard and Dragonetti moved to Los Angeles to further their group. Each spent countless hours writing songs; hate, pain, love, joy, both finding themselves hopelessly attached to something. Coming together again to record what they had written in Dragonetti’s studio, it sparked, and both understood that they were meant for each other. And so goes the myth-like tale of The Submarines.

Declare a New State! wanders through a variety of sounds. “Hope” sounds like much of Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots and “Brighter Disconnect” makes the most of minimalist harmonica and drum machine. “Modern Inventions” leads to a unidentifiable aural sensation through its synthesized strings and encompassing harmonies. “It goes from hopelessness to a certain kind of optimism – an optimism that’s more realistic” says Hazard of the album. This track is a key example of that turnaround in the album’s lyrics, which somehow remind me of a really good Urge Overkill song, toned down and prettied up. It leaves an effect the exact moment it kicks in.

All leading perfectly into “The Good Night” which ultimately questions what there is between the two. Hazard concludes the song by singing “I’d have waited a lifetime for a sign only to fall apart when love arrives, but we’re coming home.” These lyrics encompass the beauty and themes of the album, reconciliation, compromise and love. Nothing lends itself a better fit to the album than these words, which, in all truth, were never meant to be heard. The album was meant as something that the duo were compiling for their friends, as a sort of marker on the relationship. But as Declare a New State! reaches the public, it brings new meaning to the words, new depth to the sounds, and hopefully new avenues for The Submarines, and a story that undoubtedly deserves to be heard.

[This post was first published by Culture Bully.]