Published Apr 27, 2020Working from home isn't so bad under the right circumstances. Other Lives songwriter Jesse Tabish recently moved from Portland to a rustic A-frame house in the rural Cooper Mountain region of Oregon, using this self-imposed isolation to propel his creativity. Away from noisy distractions, heavy concrete and messy politics, Other Lives created For Their Love, reminding us that solitude can be a time to restock and create something bold and beautiful.
Tabish was joined in his new base by his wife Kim Tabish and multi-instrumentalists Jonathan Mooney and Josh Onstott. Inspired by natural surroundings, the band moved away from electronic experimentation found in their previous album, Rituals, and instead relied on the purity and physicality of their own instruments. This newfound sense of freedom extended to the production — they chose to self-produce for the first time since 2006, with Mooney engineering the album himself.
Through For Their Love, Tabish and Other Lives as a whole re-engage with the outside world and analyze their sense of self worth. The inevitable vulnerability is morphed into a sense of strength and confidence, which adds another purposeful layer to the band's repertoire. With this in mind, their central motifs are mostly reflective: "Hey Hey" explores the end of the American Dream, "Lost Day" tackles why our current world seems so unstable, and "Who's Gonna Love Us" offers a glimpse at one of the paths forward — community.
Reflection on such weighty themes can often uncover painful memories, such as the story told in "We Wait." At 17, while Tabish was a member of the All-American Rejects, one of Tabish's friends was murdered; the murderer was allegedly part of the band's inner circle. The pain-ridden track highlights the braveness and openness of the album and the rewards of their labour is laid out for all to hear. Tabish and Other Lives took some time to restock and re-centre both their lives and music in the making of this album which they suitably end with a glimpse of hope. "Sideways" is a tranquil ballad that reveals the world is dark, but light is both apparent and available.
For Their Love was created under temporary isolation and has ended as a statement of belief and hope. Solitude can seem lonely, but no matter what the state of the world and the people in it, we still have our family, our friends and our community. (ATO Records)