Sometimes all a band needs is a linchpin. When drummer Pat Curtis joined the Monday Mourners a little over a year ago, he realized that he walked into a band that was sitting on a pile of great songs.
“I didn’t really know these songs,” he admitted. “But I felt like they should all be on an album.”
From there, work on “Never Going Home,” which the band unveils this week, began. Even before the Mourners had a name for it — before there was even a project to name — there were these songs. The band is a delightfully rich mix of country and rock that is enhanced by having two distinct songwriters working simultaneously.
“The writing goes back pretty far,” bassist Aaron Tinder said of the tracks on “Never Going Home.” “Some of the songs on this album go back a couple years.”
Like a slew of local bands, a lack of material was never the Mourners’ problem; it was money. Studio time rarely comes cheap, after all. So the ball really got rolling when Curtis offered to record the material at Radio Iowa’s studio, where he works. From there, he took the rough mixes to a producer in Iowa City to help give the album a final spit and polish. Now, after a couple years of writing and another year of arranging, recording and mixing, the Mourners find themselves in that curious space where the pride for a job well done and the excitement for the next project are at loggerheads.
“It does feel like the culmination of a whole lot of writing and hard work,” Tinder said. “But at this point, we’ve been working on new music (so) a lot of what we’re doing when we’re practicing and playing shows is focusing on even newer songs.”
It is good to have momentum. It is always easier to “keep a ball rolling than it is to get one out of the mud. So as much as the Mourners are enjoying the moment, expect more good things from them soon.
“It’s exciting to be able to say ‘this is us,’ ” he continued. “We’re super excited to get it out in front of people. But we’re also super focused on new stuff. We could record a new album right now.” CV