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Ceremony’s fifth studio album, The L-Shaped Man, is a platform to explore loneliness and emotional weariness, but it is by no means a purely sad album. Rather than look inward, Farrar uses his experience to write about what it means to go through something heavy and come out the other side a different person.
In order to tell Farrar's story, Ceremony have almost completely stripped back the propulsive punk of their previous records, turning every angry outburst into simmering despair. “We’ve always tried to be minimalists in writing, even if it’s loud or fast or abrasive,” says lead guitarist Anthony Anzaldo. “It’s really intense when I hear it. Not in a way where you turn everything up to ten. Things are so bare, you’re holding this one note for so long and you don’t now where it’s going—to me, that’s intensity.”
“A lot of the content has to do with loss, and specifically the loss of someone who you care deeply about,” Farrar says. “There is no way for you to go through something like this artistically and not have really strong emotions of loss and pain. There’s not really any way to hide that.” Farrar, for his part, is singing with a new kind of intensity. A his baritone swooping and retreating from stressed angst to unsettling near-mutter.
There's a story behind the title too. “I was speaking to our driver Stephen while on tour,” Farrar says. “We were talking about men in general and what shape they are…their body type. I said, ‘I guess men are in the shape of an L. The torso is straight. Vertical. And then you have the little feet at the end.’ There’s this painter named Leslie Lerner who was living in San Francisco in the ‘70s and ‘80s and made these beautiful paintings. He died on my 21st birthday. A lot of the record is about the similarities in our ideas. In what we’re trying to make. Things that have to do with love and losing love.”
Released on 1000 limited edition vinyl LP’s via First Letter Press (Anthony Anzaldo’s own publication), The L-Shaped Man: The Demo Recordings is the prologue to Ceremony’s most vulnerable work and drastic musical shift.
01. Hibernation (Demo)
02. Bleeder (Demo)
03. Your Life In France (Demo)
04. Your Life In America (Demo)
05. The Separation (Demo)
06. The Pattern (Demo)
07. Root Of The World (Demo)
08. The Party (Demo)
09. The Bridge (Demo)
10. The Understanding (Demo)