PREMIERE: Roger Harvey steps out with “Lovers Can Be Monsters”

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Roger Harvey
Roger Harvey | photo by Jonathon Minto

He’s toured with Against Me!, The Menzingers and Dads over the last year, and now Roger Harvey will step out on his own with the debut of Twelve Houses. The album will be out October 9th via Black Numbers and we have the premiere of “Lovers Can Be Monsters” today.

With his roots beginning to take hold here in Philadelphia, the “snowbelt of Pennsylvania” native spent a large chunk of his music-making years in Pittsburgh.

“I never made a plan to live in Philadelphia,” Harvey says over email.

He left Pittsburgh early last spring to go on tour with the expectation of relocating to New York when he got back. But a serendipitous string of circumstances brought Harvey here, which seems to be a good thing for him and for the local music scene.

“Moving here has been one of the happiest accidents of my life. The support here and the community of music makers is unlike anywhere else in the world and I feel so lucky to be a part of it & to have landed here.”

The move allowed Harvey to try out some new things, like working on a solo project that freed him from previous restraints.

“I love to collaborate with the people that I love but sometimes that process can get very complicated. I made this record to liberate myself of this heavy feeling that I had of not being able to move forward in the way that I wanted to. Not being able to create the way I wanted to. In short I guess this record is my way of making peace and making sense.”

Twelve Houses was recorded with J Vega at his woodsy Pittsburgh-area studio The Wilderness while Harvey was still out west, and like the recent move, the results were pretty unplanned.

“I brought a lot of songs to [ J ] and told him that I wanted to make a really stripped down record. When we started recording, it almost instantly became something else and we just kept building it until it became what it is. The process took almost a year.”

“What it is” is a collection of folksy punk songs with a cinematic eye toward production and space. References point to Bright Eyes and Neutral Milk Hotel, though there’s a pop layer to the melodies and stories as well.

The song we’re premiering today sits on the rockier side of the album’s spectrum, occupying a space that is bittersweet and nostalgic with a darkness not too far off from Death Cab for Cutie.

“‘Lovers Can Be Monsters’ is a song about the ways that we treat the people we love and also a song about how I crashed my car.”

It’s slow and rolling, with huge cymbal crashes and a heavy guitar solo that builds and fades. It has both a weight and a lightness to it, like the relief you feel after making a difficult decision.

Listen to the track below. Twelve Houses is available for preorder here, via Black Numbers, and Harvey has a handful of tour dates leading up to his appearance at FEST 14 in Gainesville; details can be found below.

10/27 Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade w/ The Sidekicks, Cayetana, Beach Slang
10/29 Ybor City, FL @ Pre-Fest
10/30 Gainesville, FL @ Fest

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