“Bulletproof Hearts (for Laura Jane)”, a chiming tribute to Laura Jane Grace of the punk rock band Against Me!, is the first single from Portland’s Americana rock band Hawks & Doves who will release the debut From A White Hotel available July 27th on Jullian Records.
It is also the new project from Portland’s Kasey Anderson, now five year’s sober with his well-publicized prison sentence, battle with Bipolar I diagnosis, and rehab behind him. It is the work of a revived man with a restored creative vision, surrounded by the people who helped revive and restore him.
Of the song, Kasey says: “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ready “Tranny,” Laura Jane’s memoir, but each time I do I come away heartbroken and inspired by her story. I wrote the song the day after Tom Petty died, as like so many people I found myself listening to his records that day, and I thought about that first line of “American Girl”; such a beautiful, wide-open sentiment that, set against the backdrop of what’s happening around us now, seems like a dream from a million years ago. “Bulletproof Hearts (for Laura Jane)” is based around Laura Jane’s story, and dedicated to her, but it’s about kicking open the idea of “Real American” anything, because the promises Tom Petty sang – the promises Laura Jane sings about – have to exist for all of us, or they don’t exist at all.”
Glide is proud to premiere the fervently emotive “Bulletproof Hearts (for Laura Jane)”, an anthemic composition that sticks in our head in all the best ways. Like Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem, Anderson shows a knack for rallying cries full of vivid imagery and candid storytelling.
Kasey remained hesitant but on the rare day when Richter’s studio wasn’t in use and everyone was free of other obligations, Hawks and Doves would convene at Room 13, and they’d spend a few hours laying down a basic track or adding layers to something they’d already started. The songs began to crystallize, and Kasey’s life was on the upswing, too. Already into his fifth year of sobriety, he began training to become a certified professional counselor for fellow sufferers of addiction and mental illness, and as the off-hours Hawks and Doves sessions picked up speed, Kasey and his girlfriend Caitlin got engaged.
From a White Hotel is an album years in the making — some would say 38 years in the making — and so it makes sense that the new Kasey Anderson album, due July 27 on Jullian Records (just six days after Kasey and Caitlin will hold their wedding ceremony), won’t bear Kasey’s name on the cover. It’s not the next anything. It’s the first Hawks and Doves record; the work of a revived man with a restored creative vision, surrounded by the people who helped revive and restore him.
“I ain’t no Steve Earle,” Kasey sings in “Clothes Off My Back,” as the album’s penultimate track soars to a close, “but I feel alright.” From a White Hotel is an album shot through with honesty and wit, but those lines ring out clearly as an admission: the road ahead is long and challenging, and Kasey’s journey towards reconciliation and redemption nowhere near its end. The good news for the rest of us travelers is that we’ve got Kasey Anderson back among us.