For Who The Bell Tolls For
One of the most in-demand producers in indie rock, and one half of Foxygen, Jonathan Rado’s recordings for The Killers, Father John Misty, The Lemon Twigs, Whitney, and Weyes Blood devour the canon, and return something distinctly modern. On For Who The Bell Tolls For, Rado’s first solo release in ten years, the producer unveils a refined version of his signature sound, intricately sculpted by anthemic maximalism and good old-fashioned studio magic.
The album is an exercise in mournful maximalism, transforming the mythos of American pop music into a vibrant meditation on death. The spirit of late producer Richard Swift Rado’s friend and mentor can be found across the collection, imbuing tracks like “Easier” with a tangible sense of loss, and Swift-ian turns of phrase. On other songs, such as the addictive “Don’t Wait Too Long,” Rado paints an arena-ready production with streaks of longing and hopelessness. In many ways, For Who The Bell Tolls For is a musical ode to Swift, nodding to the late producer’s legacy with homespun epics that straddle the line between joy and grief.
Recorded at Electric Lady Studios, New York and Sonora Recorders and Dreamstar II, Los Angeles, the album features appearances by Rado's frequent collaborators, including The Lemon Twigs, Brad Oberhofer, Andrew Sarlo, Jackie Cohen, and Kane Ritchotte. Despite this esteemed lineup and the gargantuan sound of the record, For Who The Bell Tolls For is a solo album at heart. Rado plays the studio like an instrument, his distinct voice present in every nook and cranny of the structure. This presence can be easily detected in every project that the artist touches, but it’s never sounded so honest, so shimmering, or so Rado as it does here.
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