Zero Summer is the latest offering from Jimmy Hewitt’s guitar-pop project, Lost Film, and also his most concise work yet. The initial concept for the record began in a darker place but Hewitt rehashed it as he shifted toward brighter, more optimistic themes. The title and theme of the record takes inspiration from the T.S. Eliot poem “Little Gidding,” as the idea of finding light even in dark times stuck with the 31-year-old songwriter.
“Living in an area where half the year gets pretty damn cold and dark, people really look forward to and put a lot of pressure on their summers. But I think it would be a lot better to look at every day that way; not just a few months of the year,” Hewitt explained.
The Easthampton, Massachusetts project experiences both its poppiest and its heaviest moments on this third album. More notably, this is the first time Hewitt played every instrument on a record himself — even having recently learned to play drums just to record this album. (Though in live settings, Lost Film is joined on stage by a full band).
Recorded in the comforts of home, influences from Factory Records and Sarah Records shine through, as does Hewitt’s affinity for vintage drum machines and synthesizers. But he took these sounds and influences through a more contemporary, jangle-pop lens.
The eclectic and trim tracklist does not shy away from traditional pop hooks or structure — rather, it embraces both unabashedly. The subject material throughout the 7-song album aligns with the collection's namesake. Which, lifted from Eliot’s 1942 poem, points to both idealizing moments in life and appreciating that positives only exist because their negatives do. While the record began by exploring darker subject matters, Hewitt learned that experiencing both the positive and negative moments in life may simply be the result of lacking the other.
The balance between pop songwriting and inner reflection makes the band most compelling. As Noisey wrote about a previous single, “Lost Film takes a nuanced approach to pop that’s both hazily introspective and gripping.”
Following a 5-year stint in the Boston music scene, the songwriter found himself again in need of a new recording moniker after Young Minds and Orca Orca when he moved back to Western Mass in 2014. When Hewitt studied audio production and film in college, he came across the term lost film, which refers to pieces in cinema either deliberately or accidentally destroyed. Hewitt attached this phenomenon to his new project, as the concept resonates with him in a time when everything becomes immortalized online and when people become less immersed art and performance in lieu of the screen.
Lost Film is set to release their third album about two years after the lush-but-stern Broken Spectre. Moving at a steady but deliberate pace, the band regularly performs alongside contemporaries such as Beach Fossils, Tennis, and Forth Wanderers while also seeing praise from the likes of Noisey, DIYMag, and GoldFlakePaint, among others. Zero Summer will be out everywhere October 25th.
released October 25, 2019
Music and words by Jimmy Hewitt.
Recorded at home in Easthampton, Massachusetts Spring 2019.
Mixed and mastered by Matt Freake.
Artist Bio by Colin Smith.
Artwork by Katherine Plumb.
All songs by Lost Film (BMI)