Listen to indie folk music by Blind Pilot from Portland on their new album And Then Like Lions that was just released this month. This is their first studio album in 5 years, and it is fantastic!
Singer-songwriter Israel Nebeker wrote about the first track Umpqua Rushing in an email to NPR Music:
The past isn’t finished with us yet. Love can be like that, too. I think of this album as a conversation about different kinds of loss and the courage we find when we face loss honestly, cracked open and unsure of what we will become, which is the only real way to face it. In this song, I write about the Umpqua Forest in Oregon and the lost coast of Northern California. It amazes me how places reveal themselves as significant to us by the stories we live in them. They echo memories back to us when we visit or when we listen from afar. I like that, and it reminds me how the past isn’t finished with us.
Here’s a description about the new album from an article from Red Light Management:
Israel Nebeker turns loss into inspiration on its new album ‘And Then Like Lions’ (ATO Records) out August 12. Written and composed by Nebeker over the course of three years, the record is a transcendent, cathartic response to the loss of his father and end of a 13-year relationship. ‘Lions’ is Blind Pilot’s most exhilarating album to date, a lush 10-song collection that is resilient, uplifting and often majestic in the face of tragedy. …
“Umpqua Rushing” was the first song written for the album, Israel’s reflection on the end of a 13-year relationship. The Umpqua River in Oregon holds memory for him, and becomes a metaphor for the pulling current of his relationship. Much of the songwriting took place after Israel’s father was diagnosed with cancer. “Seeing Is Believing” was written as a song of encouragement for his dad as he was battling sickness and Israel moved home to help him. …
After his father died, Israel wrote “Like Lions,” which would become the album’s finale. The title comes from a story about Israel’s nephews, who stood up to a bully by “standing like lions,” as they told it. Lions play a central role on the album; Israel’s father painted the lion flag on the album cover as a boyhood gift to his son. Israel shared “Joik #3” from the record with NPR’s All Things Considered over Thanksgiving. A joik is a “song” in the Sami (an indigenous people inhabiting the Arctic) tradition, Israel’s paternal heritage.
And Then Like Lions (2016) – 10 songs, 41 min
These are several videos for songs on the new album that were recorded live at their Bear Creek Studio.
Umpqua Rushing – 4 min 15 sec
Packed Powder – 3 min 39 sec
Moon at Dawn – 4 min 0 sec
See my music post on Blind Pilot for more albums, videos, and links. It has been updated with the new album, and an extended playlist.
Photo credit: And Then Like Lions @ Amazon (album cover).