Lampland Shares New Single “Nervous Wreck Today”

Lampland is the recording project of New York-based songwriter Tommy Bazarian. An obsession with dramatic, country-tinged songwriting and ‘90s aesthetics come together on Dry Heat, his debut for Park The Van Records.

“I was searching for this heartbreaking, ‘70s feeling,” Bazarian says of the album’s origins. To find it, he immersed himself in Stevie Nicks, Dolly Parton, and Dusty Springfield hits. He would listen to “Jolene” and “Dreams” over and over, just trying to grasp the feeling of the way the chorus was sung—the pleasure and heartbreak that mix in the melody and vocal delivery.

But in the spirit of innovators like Mount Eerie / The Microphones and Jonathan Richman, the songs on Dry Heat warp their rootsy influences as much as they honor them. The production is often slanted and fuzzed-out, full of blitzed guitars, midnight synths, and basement pianos. Bazarian’s voice is captivating, owing more to Elliott Smith than his ‘70s loves. His delivery flips between reverence and mischievousness, indulging in that Dolly Parton emotion, surrendering to it, and playing with it in equal measure. The albumwas brought to life by engineers Nate Mendelsohn (Frankie Cosmos, Katie Von Schleicher) and Philip Weinrobe (Adrianne Lenker, Deerhoof).

Lampland’s latest single “Nervous Wreck Today” is a poignant ode to anxiety. “It’s about feeling tired and skittish and beat up, but also kind of resigned and peaceful,” Bazarian explains. “I picture a businessman leaning on his coworker’s desk, and saying the chorus line to her. And then watching TV alone on a really hot night.”

The song is accompanied by a kaleidoscopic video co-directed by Bazarian and visual artist Madeline Ludwig-Leone. “This song felt kind of delicate, and we didn’t want to disrupt it with any images that meant anything,” says Bazarian. “We experimented with a few things, and ended up with this visual of pouring ink into milk. It felt right with the song, kind of organic and kind of dreamlike. Madeline poured the ink while the song played, which was kind of like a second performance in itself. It was also like a big Rorschach test – by the time we were done editing it, we were seeing tons of scenes and images in the ink that had to do with the song.”

Photo Courtesy: Sarah Eckinger