Introducing… Curse of Lono
From hope to hardship, the third single released from Curse Of Lono’s People In Cars LP shows the darker side of Felix Bechtolsheimer’s songwriting and delves further into the stark reality of the unimaginable year that this musician has lived through. His father, uncle and ex-partner all passed away in the space of one year and it’s the latter of these three that’s the subject of ‘So Damned Beautiful’.
Preceded by news that Felix’s one-time partner had run off for another drug-filled weekend affair where her fling overdose on heroin, she died shortly afterwards by August 2020. Dealing with a deep well of emotions by this point, Felix turned to music and thus ‘So Damned Beautiful’ came to be. It’s a sordid and visceral pulp semi-fiction of lust, euphoria and bloody fingernails pumping at a breathless chest.
Recurring themes of grief and loss rise up again in this bitter pill of a track which was written from the perspective of her ex-partner’s mortal lothario. He shares: “I wrote the song from the point of view of the guy, who I didn’t know, of that dirty weekend, and that overdose. When you OD on heroin you do feel pretty great until it goes wrong, so that stuff came back into the picture.”
Read the biography written by Mark Beaumont here:
When you’ve lost your band, your dad, your uncle and your ex-partner in the space of one horrific year, it’s understandable that you’d turn back to hard drugs. For Curse Of Lono’s Felix Bechtolsheimer, thankfully, the relapse was merely thematic. It’s been twenty years since he flew back to London from a government funded experiment into opioid addiction in a German psychiatric hospital, wearing five years of heroin dependency in vomit down his shirt, took half an hour to find a vein for one last hit and then flew to Florida to spend a year with his alcoholic uncle, getting clean. He hasn’t touched the stuff ever since but even now, in his darkest moments, it seeps into his words.
“When I sit down and I dig deep,” he says, “that’s the shit that comes back.”
Drugs, death, danger and depression; the real hexes haunting Curse Of Lono’s third album People In Cars. Themes made sombre, psychotropic and as immersive as lagoon mist by tones mingling The National, Wilco, Lee Hazelwood, Leonard Cohen and The War On Drugs into rich new alt.country vapours. It’s named after Mike Mandel’s 2017 photo book, capturing people through the windows of cars at an LA intersection in 1970 (“I love the idea that in each car there’s this whole story or a whole family’s story, but we’re all in these bubbles,” says Felix, “it’s like the support bubbles in lockdown”) but these are motion-blurred snapshots from the unlit backstreets of Felix’s own life. The lost friends and errant lovers. The long drives to Miami, Stones on the stereo, when the methadone withdrawal got too much. The ex-girlfriend on the run after her extra-marital fling died of an overdose on a surreptitious lost weekend.