Long Neck's Latest Album Tells a Spunky Story of Resiliance

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Spunky, honest, and Jersey -- those are the three words I’d choose to describe Long Neck’s latest release Will This Do?. Following the 2015 release of their debut album Heights , Lily Mastrodimos (formerly of Jawbreaker Reunion) and the rest of the band returned to the scene in late January with a record that relies heavily on introspective lyricism.

The title of the record itself is a hint at what is to come on the rest of the record. The 10-track album weaves its way through both bouncy and billowy tracks like “Milky Way” and “Love Letters”; to some of the sweetest and most delicate acoustic songs like “Rosy" and “Matriarch”, which are reminiscent of Adrianne Lenker’s (of Big Thief) solo work. What ties these tracks together into a cohesive and thoughtful record is the theme of vulnerability. Topics such as self-doubt and loneliness are explored in depth, and it becomes readily apparent that this record is more than just an exercise in songwriting for Mastrodimos -- this is her catharsis.

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The swinging and swelling “Lichen” features lyrics about mourning the loss of a toxic and codependent relationship (Lichens are organisms that are formed by the partnership of two separate lifeforms). It also touches losing a part of yourself, highlighting the frustration and isolation that one feels post-breakup, “Oh the matches you struck and held by my cheeks/ I felt them burn I felt them sting/ Don't you miss me?/ Don't you?."

Just like the record as a whole, however, there is also a sense of resilience and humor in the lyrics that is essentially a trademark of the DIY scene, "When you bury me don't put lilies in my fist/ Put a beer bottle there cause that's how I lived."

The importance of New Jersey to Mastrodimos is also heavily emphasized throughout the record as a direct contrast to the feeling of isolation and loneliness. With direct mentions of the state itself, “New Jersey, what’s the worry?/ It’s not like I’m in any hurry", to driving down the NJ Turnpike, and an overall sense of longing for a familiar place to call home.

Through honest lyricism, delicate acoustic songs, and punky tracks, Long Neck successfully created an album that manages to tell a story of resiliance through so many losses. To answer your question, yes, Long Neck, this will do.

-Isobel Mohyeddin

Delaney Motter