September 22, 2005 | Posted by blair at 09:06 AM

What's long, hard, and full of... oh, you've heard that one?

going down
Hope by the Submarines

I love hearing couple-bands - like the White Stripes or Viva Voce or Fleetwood Mac (the ultimate double-trouble swapping-couple band) - not just because its kind of cute, but because it means the connection between band members is that much tighter. For the listener, the music often becomes a representation of the artists as a couple, so when Jack White sings about "[falling] in love with a girl" we take it to mean he's singing about Meg. Or maybe he's singing about some other girl that he fell in love with, specifically NOT meg.

The case the Submarines present is a good one, because like the Stripes, the couple in question, Blake Hazard and John Dragonetti, is no longer a couple. Each of them have been making music separately for some time now (start bio gush here). Blake worked in the Boston music scene, where she starting out playing with various musicians at the Fort Apache studio - recording home to Morphine, Pixies, Helium, Belly and Lemonheads. She released her first album on Kimchee Records in the US and Konkurrent in Europe, and toured with 90s rock luminaries like Evan Dando and Bettie Serveert. John also worked in Boston, creating 4-track recordings under the name Jackdrag, releasing albums on the HepCat label, Sugar Free, and A&M. He toured as Jackdrag with serious-indie-cred bands Cibo Matto and Built To Spill. At some point in there, the two got together, toured with and played in eachother's bands, etc. thus the couple-thing.

Anyway, after four years of this, they decided to move to LA to "persue their love of traffic and earthquakes" (that's why I want to move there with my girl too!), but after a few months there, they broke up. After a stretch of time, they reunited and found that the music they'd been writing separately was really about the same thing, just on opposing sides of the table.

The result is what you're hearing here - pretty, sad songs about love, with gorgeous production by John. There's also a song you can download on their site, called "Peace & Hate" which rocks a bit harder, but I thought "Hope" was just sweeter (I'm a sucker for that, you know). Anyway, it is really good stuff, with a very deep sounding production style (remember, they're called the Submarines) that reminds me a bit of Jon Brion, and both their vocals are always spot on. They wrote a whole album together and it is called Declare A New State! - it will hopefully be released eventually, but for now, you can hit their site and drop the band a line at subsaresneaky at (I love that email address!) - they'll probably send you a CD if you ask them nicely, because they're cool like that.

I'll let you know when I hear more about these guys, as I think they've got it right on the money.


i hope you already know about this...

Posted by: Mr Roboto at September 23, 2005 05:29 AM

love it, and they are quite sweet.

Posted by: haldan at September 24, 2005 01:17 AM

this is good stuff.

Posted by: John at September 25, 2005 06:35 PM

best couple band ever = The Brunettes.

Posted by: yewnanattack. at September 26, 2005 07:07 PM

as i remember the rest of the band's album, Safe at Home (LHI, 1968), was recorded in November '67...

Posted by: Iceman at December 22, 2005 02:19 PM

I just wanted to let you know that as I was la-dee-da-ing at work one day, nodding to as I usually do, the jukebox started playing "Vote." Now a lot of music is just background noise that I don't have the energy to click "Don't Like" or ">>." But you guys had me at the guitar strumming. You guys filled the music void in my life with just the right amounts of urban folk, storytelling and heartbreak. Keep rockin'!

Posted by: Po0pie at June 21, 2006 01:59 PM
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