The new reissue of post-rock treasure ‘Tell Me About the Long Dark Path Home’ cements its masterpiece status

The Newfound Interest in Connecticut

Tell Me About the Long Dark Path Home (Reissue)

We Are Busy Bodies · March 12, 2021

The Newfound Interest in Connecticut’s cult classic album Tell Me About the Long Dark Path Home has finally received a remaster, vinyl release, and a release on streaming services, and it showcases all of the intricacies that make this album the masterpiece of post-rock and midwest emo that it is. The instrumental build-ups and crescendos, emotionally potent lyricism and vocal delivery, and surprisingly complex drum sequences that occur throughout this album, put simply, are genius and expertly crafted in every sense of the word. Each note on this album is meticulously placed with deliberate intention, and played with genuine emotion in an attempt to capture a transcendent and ethereal feeling. These facts, of course, are only part of what makes this album so phenomenal.

The album opens with a 12-minute triad of songs, each with their own merits distinct from the other. “The Computers Stopped Sharing Information” serves as a mysterious and intriguing introduction to the sound that The Newfound Interest in Connecticut crafted on this album, starting out with dissonant horns, then building up and expanding parts of guitar riffs before crashing down into phenomenal walls of sound that encompass chaos, beauty, and simplicity. The new mix brings out so many new little pieces of sound that appear on this track, most notably the drums, which are much more subdued in the original mix throughout the album. While the track does last seven minutes, it doesn’t overstay its welcome at all, and leaves the listener craving more rhythmically complex, emotional, sprawling sonic architecture – which is exactly what’s delivered on the next track, “And Started Sharing Stories.” 

This track, which moves with a momentum unparalleled by most of the rest of the album, introduces a seminal part of the album’s genius. The vocals and lyrics on this album are, in a word, emotionally potent. The singer’s boyish, yelling tones often break out into screams and yelps, which legitimately sound as if they’re deriving from a deep psychological pain. It works phenomenally, coupled with the intricate math-rock riffs and especially the more intense moments on the album. The chorus on “And Started Sharing Stories” is a good example of this. Even though it lasts about 15 seconds, it makes a huge impact on the listener and leaves them waiting for the reprisal of the sequence so that they may hear it once more. After this, the triad ends with “And Then They Kissed,” a cool-down track that, while serene, still incorporates more complex songwriting. The first spoken word sequence appears on this track as well, which adds a more natural feeling to the album as a whole.

While the opening triad is surely a huge accomplishment by any means, the true crown jewel of this album appears through “Five Years of Work and We Built That Song,” the fifth track on the album. This track is a masterpiece of composition, featuring unorthodox guitar melodies as well as beautiful vocal tunes and lyricism. The Newfound Interest in Connecticut are truly masters of musical gratification, knowing where to place and how to play intense moments of raw, violent, emotional energy throughout the album. This track is a prime example of that, having both intense, impactful, and emotional choruses and subdued, anticipatory verses that shift into those choruses seamlessly. As with the other tracks, the new mix brings out certain notes and especially drum rhythms that were almost unnoticeable in previous releases, but add to the song tenfold in this release. This is all without mentioning the last leg of the track, which is euphoric and cathartic in the most satisfying way. Put simply, it may very well be one of the greatest achievements in the midwest emo genre. 

It’s followed up by “And It Sings For Itself,” a decidedly more slow-paced track and yet one that’s equally as important with regard to the flow of the album. The track features several changes in melody and tempo that, of course, are seamless and unexpected. In the middle of the track, these call and response lines between the main and backing vocal tracks are beautifully integrated into the mix, and, toward the end, the track increases in tempo and energy for an excellent closing sequence.

While the latter half of the album doesn’t reach the highs that the first half does, there is still not a single bad track throughout the runtime. “I Can Hear Your Footsteps Just Outside Camp – Sah, Sah, Sah…” is an atmospheric and distinctly wintery-sounding track that is reminiscent of some works of legendary post-rock outfit Slint, and incorporates horns as the backbone of the track quite nicely. “I Can See Your Breath Rising in the Air” opens with a totally overwhelming sonic wave that develops into a more timid riff as the track goes on, eventually incorporating harmonics. “On My Back Watching the Northern Lights Recede” is probably the least phenomenal track on the album, but it’s still an important slow-burner to pace the album well, and is actually supremely haunting. 

The closing track, “The Arctic Circle,” is an emotionally potent ballad that closes out the record ideologically, starting out with the same horns that were showcased in the beginning of the album and ending with a jarring, sprawling, and beautiful wall of sound. The backing vocals on this track, to be honest, sound excruciatingly painful, but this adds to the overall impact of the song.

Tell Me About the Long Dark Path Home is a hidden gem, if not a crown jewel, in the midwest emo and post-rock genres. This new reissue makes so much of what was previously subdued more apparent, and the album is better for it. This is the definitive release of this monumental record, and it’s the release that the album has been deserving for a long while. Hopefully, this reissue will expose new listeners to this unknown masterpiece.

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