We constantly feature new & notable indie artists that drive innovation in all aspects of songwriting, production & performance. Meet our latest featured artist in an exclusive interview. Introducing You To Your Next Favorite Artist: Lost Film.
Lost Film began as the recording project of Jimmy Hewitt in 2014. Having just moved away from Boston after spending several years performing under the name Orca Orca and mixed with an equal adoration of Sarah Records of the 80’s and Pacific Northwest bands of the early 2000’s, Hewitt adjusted back to small town life by writing straight-forward, layered pop songs. Live members include Ben Husk (drums) and Justin Mantell (bass).
Comments from the Curators
Review by Josh S. Pineda, Founder & Curating-Editor
Lost Film creates authentic indie rock that seems to borrow from 90s sympathetic tradition, reminiscent of Pavement, and at times diving into slowcore, but still contemporaneous with today’s larger indie acts such as Pinegrove, Twin Peaks, and Modern Baseball. There’s a thoughtfully refined and defined nature about Lost Film’s latest record Broken Spectre. It’s introspective, even having a sort of introverted gloom, but with a pensive charm in the way that guitar melodies unfold and ground each song with a sense of hopeful vibrancy and devotion to the craft–not unlike the inspiration behind the album title, the Brocken Spectre. Songwriter Jimmy Hewitt tackles an array of deep concepts without making the album feel too heavy: consumerism, seasonal depression, growing apart, and addiction. The lyric construction is impeccable in its minimal yet highly impactful and thought provoking characteristics. It’s the hopeful moments that shine best, such as in “I Forget:” “I know that it will get better, well maybe not now, but not never.”
Their latest single, “Galaxy” starts off with a quaking and questioning synth open, but soons leads back into the band’s feel-good guitar strums and Jimmy’s reflective and comforting vocals. It captures that feeling of falling for someone, and how as that happens, all your problems seem to fall away with you; how in that moment it just feels like you’re floating: “I know you, and you know me too. I seem to forget how to move around you all around you, you walk by and out of the corner of my eye, you fell down but I caught you just before the ground. I’m all around you.”
It’s hard to capture into words what is so great about these songs, as their simplicity goes a long way to convey the emotion packed in. They are songs you just have to get lost in and revisit as you discover their subtle intricacies, their witty accessibility, their amazing captivating effects.
What are your top 3 favorite albums that inspired you to get into music?
My top 3 albums that inspired me to get into music are probably Pedro the Lion – Control, Saves the Day – Stay What You Are, and Modest Mouse – Moon and Antartica, which all came out while I was in high school.
What are your fondest musical memories?
As an artist, one of my fondest musical memories was hearing my favorite radio show play one of my songs while I was in the car on the way to work, right when I was first starting out. I had to pull the car over so I wouldn’t lose reception/control of the car. As a listener, hearing Wilco’s A Ghost is Born for the first time with my friends when it came out in high school. We just locked ourselves in a room at a party and listened to it the whole way through without saying anything.
Lately what musical periods or styles do you find yourself most drawn to as a listener?
Lately I haven’t been paying much attention to new music as I have in the past few years. I didn’t grow up in a musical household so I’ve been going back and filling in the holes that I may have missed. I never had my Neil Young or Tom Petty phases so I’m playing catch up on stuff like that.
What is your creative process like? How do you approach the writing process? Is there a particular message or theme central to your creative works?
My creative process is quite sporadic. I try and have instruments in every room so that I can always pick something up even if it’s for a couple minutes, and if something feels right, I record a memo on my phone. Other times I go down to the basement for hours and work on one idea. I’ve recently started playing drums more, which is definitely reshaping the way I think about song structures.
We’re a firm believer that the cities that artists are based in helps craft their sound. How would you describe your city’s music scene? How has it inspired you into crafting your sound?
I live in Easthampton, MA, which is part of a vibrant art scene with its neighboring towns. When I lived in Boston it more or less all sounded the same and was sort of cliquey. Here people tend to take more risks and have more fun with art rather than the seriousness of a city. What I noticed about my music after moving here, was that the tempos of my songs have slowed down about 50 bpm which I do not think is a coincidence.
How would you describe your visual aesthetic, in terms of album artwork, music videos, and artistry? How does the music you create contribute to your visuals? Does this extend to your live show experience?
In a word I would describe my visual aesthetic as minimal. I have always done all of the album artwork, visuals, and flyers myself, so the artwork and music are pretty linear. Album art really does not get enough attention from musicians now. Everyone uses an old polaroid from their parents attic and calls it album art.
As an indie artist in the digital age, social media and streaming are essential tools for marketing and promotion. What do you think about online music sharing, both as a music fan and as a musician? How do you think social media/music streaming services impacts the rising musician?
As an artist in a digital age I try not to waste too much time with social media engagements. Tools like Bandcamp and SoundCloud make it really easy for musicians to reach listeners and have them share it with other listeners. The digital age has made everyone with a laptop and a guitar and enthusiasm, a DIY musician/booker/manager/pr/ person all in one. It cuts out a lot of the middle-people but also really over saturates the industry. There are way too many bands and there are way too many labels, but at the same time there are SO many great bands and great labels now and with the tools available now they can almost effortlessly reach listeners. I’m a big believer in, if the music/art is good – people will find it no matter what; you shouldn’t waste time/money that could be spent on creating art on an internet post.
What is your dream collaboration and why?
My dream collaboration? I don’t really like collaborating on music but I would really like to work with like PT Anderson or Spike Jonze on a video.
Which songs are you currently obsessed with? What new acts do you recommend to our listeners? What bands do you believe are your best kept secret in the indie community?
I know I said that thing about not listening to new music much but like everyone else, I cannot get over the new National album. It is a perfect rock record really. It’s like when you watch your favorite movie over and over and notice something new each time. Maybe my dream collaboration would be to work with the drummer from The National. We have a pal in Boston who is a really incredible songwriter under the name Saccharine. For now, I’d say he fits the best kept secret title, though it’s not a secret to most of Boston.
What are you currently working on? Any new projects?
I worked on Broken Spectre for almost 2 years and it’s set to come out at the end of October, so I’m taking a break on recording and learning how to play drums.
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