Southern California Band Venice Uses Obama’s Future Palm Springs Neighborhood as Inspiration for New Album, “Into the Morning Blue”
“No, we didn’t actually stay at his house,” clarifies Venice’s guitarist/vocalist, and the album’s producer, Michael Lennon. “But it was pretty cool to be in the same gated community where the 44th president of the United States will be walking his dog in the near future.” Nestled on the side of the mountains, in a friend’s house, with panoramic views of the desert palm trees below, the four Lennons kept things within the family while writing songs for their upcoming release.
Kipp Lennon explains, “Usually we collaborate a bit more with outside writers, but this time, in the midst of the divided and uncertain state of our country, we reached inward and wrote 90% of all the new songs ourselves.” On the heels of their critically acclaimed covers album, “Brunch Buffet,” Venice was ready to speak from their own hearts again.
This is most evident in the two songs they wrote about the bittersweet experience of losing their fathers. The title track, “Into the Morning Blue,” recalls the day that brothers Mark and Michael Lennon lost their father. Mark recalls, “It was a surreal, beautiful fall morning in Venice, California, that brought some of the darkest news any child can hear: Our Dad was gone.” Mark and Michael’s cousins, Kipp and Pat Lennon (who are brothers to each other), shared a similar experience. As Pat explains, “and ‘Sunrise (August of ’69)’ is about the day after we lost OUR father, and the weeks and months of family healing that followed.”
But the album also shows the brighter side of Venice, with songs like, “A Dance by the River,” which tells the story of a night on the town in Budapest during the world tour of Roger Waters’ “The Wall,” a tour that Venice members proudly lent their vocal harmonies to. And “A Wealthy Man,” which speaks of the riches of real love with a spouse or with family members. The first single, “Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This,” is an uplifting anthem (with a hint of irony) about staying in the moment, and it was the first of all the new songs to be written.
One thing is for sure, that this new album is quintessential Venice, with their signature vocal harmonies layered over soulful tracks that seem to ooze Southern California sunshine. If you’re in need of some of that sunshine, then you owe it to yourself to check out “Into the Morning Blue,” on Lennon Records/M.A.R.S. Worldwide, when it’s released on April 14, 2017.