Lewis Del Mar are up for taking the long road. After a three year hiatus, New York duo Danny Miller and Max Harwood are back with “The Ceiling,” the adrenaline-inducing first single from their long-anticipated sophomore album August, due out this summer via FADER Label.
The core brotherhood of Lewis Del Mar sparked two decades ago, when Miller and Harwood met at age nine. “We’ve pretty much always made music together,” recalls Miller. “We played trumpet in the school band in fourth grade, and then in high school we started our own group, making garage rock in Max’s basement.” Upon graduating, the band took the show on the road. After two years spent “traveling the country in a station wagon, playing in dive bars to nobody at all,” Miller and Harwood finally landed in New York City, where they put pen to paper on what would eventually become their self-titled debut album.
Everything changed overnight upon releasing their first single “Loud(y)” in summer 2015. With no established following or social media presence, the song rocketed to the top of Hype Machine, netting heavy interest from major labels. “Putting that song out was a moment that changed our lives.” Miller says. “We were super green, and we had to make big decisions pretty instantly. A lot of our path to getting here has been untangling ourselves from some of those situations... Everyone was trying to push the ball down the field as fast as possible, but that’s not how Max and I work. We want to make songs that we can play decades from now.”
On their debut LP Lewis Del Mar, Harwood and Miller did just that, bursting through the gate with a sound entirely of their own creation: anthemic, beached-out melodies with a heavy hand of city grit and percussive Latin influence which netted the duo over 150 million collective streams and support from NPR, Rolling Stone, the New York Times, Consequence of Sound and KCRW. The duo went on to perform the album around the world, including festival slots at Outside Lands, Austin City Limits and Firefly, as well as tours with Young The Giant and BØRNS.
Upon returning home, Miller and Harwood found a warped sense of normalcy. Their new album,August, is a composite of the beautiful tumult that unfolded that summer, packed with all the higher highs and lower lows that come when the stakes are raised. Postured at an exhilarating confluence between manic and reflective, August intensifies Lewis Del Mar’s established sound, reimagining a chaotic summer with boundless texture and detail, such as on lead single “The Ceiling,” in which Miller recounts being cheated on and passing out backstage at Conan with head-spinning precision, or “Rosalie,” which recalls a sun-baked psychedelic revelation on the Fourth of July. By rooting each song in lived specificity, August refracts a greater, universal truth of self-perseverance amid the static.
“It’s hard to write a story while it’s happening,” Harwood says of the album’s creation. “We started out with the intention to write about a moment, but we needed to process it. And when we tried to work with new collaborators, it didn’t quite feel like us.” Only once they returned to the core of their initial work ethic — with Miller songwriting and Harwood producing — did they finally tap back into their visceral magic. Lewis Del Mar conquered a tumultuous summer of
change by embracing all of its uncertainty. The surmounting result is a bright and invigorating reinterpretation of not just a moment, but also its enveloping afterglow.