No matter how far you travel, no matter who you meet, and no matter how much of the world’s beauty you encounter, there’s never a place like home. The entire band of Leopold and His Fiction have spent their young lifetimes experiencing the ins and outs of a tiring region and understanding themselves and their craft along the way. Their lives as constantly moving musicians have been defined by resiliency and difficult persistence, and up until their fourth album Darling Destroyer, there hasn’t been a whole lot to show for it aside from their van’s odometer. Within this roundabout of fatigue, passion, and arduously mustered energy, frontman Daniel Leopold can still hear an influential voice echoing along that rugged road. No matter how low his life gets, his home is always waiting as a comfortable crutch. Leopold shows this by concluding the song of musical hardship with the line, “I’ve ridden this land down as far as it’ll go. Every sight and sound, there’s only one thing left for me to know. I’m gonna ride on home to you.”
Some albums are a natural product of time, patience, and talent. Other albums are a forced consequence of a pressuring label’s corporate objectives. Darling Destroyer is the rare exception to these normative rules, being written strictly on flashes of revelatory ingenuity over a relatively short time frame. The Detroit artist asserts this in his bio by saying, “With the other records, making music was always a luxury. I could move at any speed, along any meandering path, and I did. This time the songs came to me with such an impact I was forced to commit myself to getting them out before I had a chance at losing them forever. There wasn’t any time to ponder over anything.” “Ride” is the noticeable outlier within Darling Destroyer, providing a sobering deflection from the modern garage rock highlights that crowd the 2017 collection. Its slow and waning lyrical style maintains the sense of past tribulations, while the piano score brings back a hopefulness that Leopold and His fiction haven’t lost their appreciation for their life’s calling.