L to R: Andrew Lanthrum, Corey Wills, Nathan Lanthrum, Jim Hanke, Nina Lanthrum

Amid the much publicized downfall of Lookout! Records, indie-poppers Troubled Hubble took a cue from their then label and officially ended their traveling party in 2005, leaving brothers Nate and Andrew Lanthrum without an ensemble for their energetic rhythm section.

Retreating home to their practice space in the rural Illinois suburbs, the siblings recruited fellow Midwest musicians – guitarist Corey Wills, of Chicago’s Inspector Owl; guitarist/vocalist Jim Hanke, of Milwaukee’s El Oso; and classically trained pianist/vocalist Nina Lanthrum – and the Kid, You’ll Move Mountains quintet embarked on a two-year writing process en route to Loomings.

Combining each musician’s unique background, Kid, You’ll Move Mountains draws heavily upon Nate Lanthrum’s shotgun drumming, while also incorporating Wills’ ambient, effects-laden guitars and Andrew Lanthrum’s jitterbug bass lines. Yet much of the band’s haunting songs rest on the vocal interplay of Hanke and Nina Lanthrum.

The alternating singers sashay through dark tales of love and loss, avoiding the temptation of call-and-response verses that would have left Hanke singing the salty to his female counterpart’s sweet. Instead, the vocalists share the emotional burdens, each voicing stories of looming autumn days that turn to the dead of winter, before each also sings of the hopefulness of spring.

Produced by ex-Troubled Hubble guitarist Josh Miller, Loomings is a pop-savvy, theatric recording that packages the hardships of America’s Rust Belt with the promise of a revitalized tomorrow.
It is a record that is as dense as it is direct, with massive crescendos that bleed into eerily sparse moments at a beat’s notice (“Inside Voice”). It is a record void of guitar solos that still induces air-guitar playing (“New Blood”). It’s an unpredictable album of multi-part songs that lack traditional structures, but remains undeniably catchy (“An Open Letter to Wherever You’re From”). It’s a nine-song collection with intriguing vocal arrangements (“Volts”) and equally as experimental musicianship (“I’m A Song From The Sixties”).

But most importantly, it is a record that sounds fully appreciative of Hanke’s lyric, “We’ve only got lips and decisions to make” from the album’s midway point, “West.” It’s this cautious optimism of life’s everyday choices – awareness for the consequences of even the most trivial action – that runs through Loomings.

Fitting for a record full of second chances, made by musicians reveling in the idea of getting another go-round themselves.

- Derek Wright