Singled Out: Eighty Six Seas' Lonely Afternoon

Keavin Wiggins | 11-02-2023

Eighty Six Seas

Eighty Six Seas just released a new song called "Lonely Afternoon" that was inspired by the Stewart-Gardner museum heist. To celebrate we asked Nick Stevens to tell us about the track. Here is the story:

Lonely Afternoon is more or less a riff on the first thirty minutes of The Thomas Crown Affair (the Pierce Brosnan version). The whole concept around the Scenes from an Art Heist album is a meditation on why someone steals art, and the idea of a bored businessman just stealing art for kicks seemed to fit right in. I had this idea of a narrator who sees the world passing him by as he isolates himself further and further. Stealing a painting is his way of injecting himself back into the world, albeit as a villain.

The starting inspiration for the music was Andrew Bird's song Lone Didion. There's a recurring "oooh" motif he used that stuck with me and I wanted to anchor my choruses around something similar. I use loops a ton when I'm writing and found a dance beat and arpeggiator combo that I loved and used that to form the core of the song that I would perform during my solo shows.

It really took off when my collaborators David Anthony (guitar/production), David Knox (bass), and Chris Anthony (drums) got their hands on it. We spent a weekend in a cabin in Massachusetts transforming and refining it down to what you hear today. Chris added so much muscle with the tom and dance groove, while Knox gave it this quasi-Peter Hook baseline to add to the dance vibe. Dave is the unsung hero on this track. The slide guitar part and the distorted synth lines just completed that dance vibe and it's not the same without his production.

Ryan Rivard created a perfect companion music video for this. The visual identity of Scenes from an Art Heist is so deeply rooted in the Magritte Son of Man painting and he just took that and ran with it. I love doing things that are tongue in cheek and the idea of a guy dressed as the Son of Man running around New York just made me giggle uncontrollably when it was first pitched. Our lead actor Jordan Bell was such a trooper running around SoHo in 90 degree heat while wearing that suit.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more about their upcoming album "Scenes from an Art Heist" here

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Singled Out: Eighty Six Seas' Lonely Afternoon

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