Local Noise: Cincinnati Band Lung Releases Powerful New Album 'Let It Be Gone'

Like a well-manicured middle finger held high, Let It Be Gone is beautiful but more intense than any of Lung’s previous releases.

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click to enlarge Kate Wakefield of Cincinnati Band Lung - Photo: Rachelle Caplan
Photo: Rachelle Caplan
Kate Wakefield of Cincinnati Band Lung

Lung may just be the hardest working band in Cincinnati. The duo, consisting of cellist/vocalist Kate Wakefield and drummer Daisy Caplan, frequently spends half a year or more on tour and then spends the other months recording the songs they wrote while on the road. In fact, Lung’s latest release, Let It Be Gone, was constructed in this exact manner.

Like a well-manicured middle finger held high, Let It Be Gone is beautiful but more intense than any of Lung’s previous releases — an interesting trait considering it was recorded before their prior album, 2021’s Come Clean Right Now.

Lung recorded Let It Be Gone right before the pandemic hit, but delays including record labels dragging their feet and the potential inclusion in an upcoming horror movie pumped the brakes on its release. However, the world still needs some passionate defiance and Let It Be Gone fortuitously fills that slot.

With just drum and cello, Lung consistently mashes up genres. In Let It Be Gone, elements of indie, classical, metal, punk and more congeal together into an album that never lets the listener rest or become complacent. Wakefield’s classically trained operatic vocal stylings hold court over the auditory whirlwind, lending beauty and force in equal measure.

Caplan and Wakefield frequently have a lot to say about the state of the world in their music, and that hasn't changed. While Let It Be Gone was unexpectedly delayed multiple times, its 2022 release feels surprisingly inspired and right at home in today’s tumultuous climate. It couldn’t have come out at a better time.

CityBeat: This album was mostly written while on the road, but was then shelved through a very static time for the world. Did that reframe the record for you?

Daisy Caplan: Yes, absolutely. We finished mastering it the first time months before the pandemic… It was made in one world, was started to be birthed into another world that it didn’t fit in, and now it seems like it fits again.

Kate Wakefield: We recorded [Let It Be Gone] and got it all finished. Then, obviously, the pandemic hit. We ended up writing online over the first couple months of the pandemic and that’s when we wrote Come Clean Right Now, which is the record we released last year. And it was funny, even though it was out of order, that record felt way more appropriate for 2021 than Let It Be Gone did. When all the pieces fell together, to let [Let It Be Gone] be released for this tour, it felt appropriate again.

DC: These two albums have fallen in order nicely, in a very weird way.

CB: Let It Be Gone feels rawer than Come Clean Right Now. What drove this feeling to be injected into the writing and recording of the album?

KW: I think our albums reflect wherever we are in the moments that we’re writing it and recording it. When we were recording it, we were coming on and off the road. It was a weird time, too, even though the pandemic hadn’t happened. From 2016 on, it feels like things got very strange.

DC: I think of how the pandemic happened, there was a weird choir of people saying, "We need to get back to the way things were." I think people forget that those weren’t good years and there was plenty of stuff going on then that was not great, that we were not happy about.

CB: There’s an obvious nautical thread throughout the album. What drove the decision to explore that motif?

KW: I do go through phases where I really get into certain visuals and metaphors, and I like to play around with them. I really like the idea of water and how it can be something that destroys and something that cleans. As far as lyric-writing goes, it’s very versatile in terms of what it can represent.

DC: It did fit well with the overall theme of the time and had some touchstones in mid-'90s indie rock, too.

CB: You just released a video for “Rag Doll" [off of Let It Be Gone]. What was that experience like?

KW: We have a band artist who has been doing all of our artwork, all of our videos since we’ve been a band. Her name is Rachelle Caplan and this was her brainchild and we just sort of went with it. We played at this beautiful spot in Indianapolis called Healer; it’s this creative art space where you walk in and you’re in a whole different world. Rachelle had the idea to shoot a video in that space where, over the course of the video, we become a part of that space and it fit really perfectly with the song. I love it, I love how it turned out.

CB: For a band that spends tons of time on the road, how does it feel to be back at it again after being forced to take time off?

KW: When everything shut down, it felt like an identity crisis — it felt like a purpose gone awry. We had just been in the swing of doing 150, 200 shows a year for so long. So, coming back to it, after taking a year and a half off, I felt grateful for more parts of it than I had been before. I was able to see it for the total gift that it is; you get to experience so much in a short time when you tour. It was a flashback to what I loved, but also seeing it for the first time.

CB: During this trip you’re touring with Daisy’s prior outfit, Foxy Shazam. What’s it like to see Foxy perform from side stage?

DC: Going into it, I had a lot of feelings or ideas on how it could go. The first night we played with them in Kansas, I gave myself over to it. I was just like, "Well, this is an experience not a lot of people have ever had. This isn’t an experience I’ve ever had, where I’m going to watch my old band play songs that we all wrote together, without me. And I’ll just see what it’s like." The weird thing is that it was actually kind of fun. I wasn’t stressed out about playing the songs right or other people playing the songs right. It was just a fun time. It was surprising how much I enjoyed myself watching that.

CB: After touring through the rest of 2022, what’s next for Lung?

KW: There’s always more touring but what I’m super excited for is we’re sitting on 30-40 songs right now and we’re writing more on the road. I’m excited to have January and February to get to know that batch of songs and figure out how to craft our next album.

Lung is currently on tour with Mac Sabbath through the duration of 2022 with several shows coming up across the United States. They also released a video for their new song “Rag Doll” and can be found @Lungtheband on all platforms. Let It Be Gone is available on streaming now with a physical release scheduled for Oct. 8 via Romanus Records.

Watch the new music video for Lung's "Rag Doll":


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