Austin's LBR DPT Release Debut Album 7/2/2021
On LBR DPT’s self-titled debut, released today July 2nd, the indie pop collective celebrates the power of the moment. It is, after all, faith in the moment that inspired members to be open for experimentation, for shunning self-seriousness in favor of letting the music shape itself organically. Seven years ago, Texas singer-songwriter brothers Patrick and Nolan Wheeler disbanded their Americana project, Wheeler Brothers, in search of a new sound. They swapped their guitars for synthesizers and teamed up with producer Misha Hercules. The project grew to encompass both coasts and an ever-growing roster of contributing musicians. Dutch singer Alex Who lends rich, expressive vocals to the record, while D’Angelo Lacy (Moon Boots and Twin Shadow collaborator) adds his silky voice to “Spinning.” Drummer Kyle Crane (Daniel Lanois, Kurt Vile, Conor Oberst) brings rhythmic versatility to keep the energy high throughout. The total effect is an album that will leave no dancefloor empty—yet doesn’t sacrifice soul in the process.
Full of infectious triumph, the nine songs on LBR DPT celebrate the joy and community of making music despite obstacles faced along the way. Album opener “Spinning” embodies the spirit of the album’s creation. It’s a shimmering invitation to dance, retro keys and rousing backing vocals making it easy to obey the song’s dictum “ your body.” Though the song seems to be a snapshot of a night on the dance floor, the party going on is the years’ long, unpredictable journey to make the album. “It embraces endless hope and opportunity. It was derived from being on the road rolling from town to town and tearing it up in places we’d never been or seen before. We felt unafraid of consequences of tomorrow and seemed to have all the time in the world,” Patrick says. Featuring D’Angelo Lacy’s smooth vocals, “Spinning” is a champagne toast to years of adventure distilled into a moment.
That feeling imbues the rest of the album as well. “Ride” is a quickening pulse limned with intricately layered backing vocals. There’s a tinge of unrest to the song, the chorus lyric of “safe for another night” inviting in the mixed blessing of temporary respite. As Patrick says, “Ride is about playing with power dynamics and the switching of power and control. There is something empowering about being in control and also something soothing about being under control without choices to make.” The song incorporates perspectives of being at rock bottom, falling in love, and feeling freed from making decisions.
Written by Nolan Wheeler and frequent collaborator Graham Wilkinson, “What I Know” lives in a different kind of moment—one about choosing to persist during the hard times. “I forgot what it’s worth left to own, even the brightest of the days,” Nolan sings. “They say there’s a place in my brain that can keep me away from myself,” soon follows. Nolan’s vulnerable vocals rive the song, augmented beautifully by live strings. The uncluttered instrumentation lays bare the hope that forms the foundation of the song.
“The record is special because we started this process as two brothers for ourselves. Now we have many brothers and a few sisters too. We had gone through a band break up, divorce and then right into a global pandemic,” Patrick Wheeler says. Those struggles make it extra impressive that the collective emerged with an album as easy and fun as LBR DPT. It’s palpable that this record was made by people who love coming together to make music that brings people together.