If you checked out my top 50 albums of 2011 you might have noticed one in the back half by Anonymous titled To My Long Lost Love. The story surrounding this album has been a subject of intrigue to me so I want to share what I know with you.
A few weeks back when the year-end lists started popping up there was one from a couple of different places that caught my eye. It was a list of Robin Pecknold's (lead singer of Fleet Foxes) favorite 10 things of 2011. The list was kinda random, so of course I liked it. One of the first things he mentioned was some mixtape by an anonymous person out of Portland, OR called To My Long Lost Love.
After doing some searches on The Google I found a bandcamp site with the songs. You could listen to 2 tracks and I liked what I heard, very mellow and interesting. I emailed the address on the site about how I could purchase the entire album but for some reason I hadn't expected to actually hear back from Anonymous! Between that and this being the ONLY way to get the record, unless you live in Portland where you can snag it in record stores, I obviously went through with the purchase.
This was all in early-mid December so of course the album didn't come in the mail until I was away for the holidays, but it was a nice treat waiting for me when I got home. Is there any doubt it would be the first thing I listened to?
Listening to 'Lost Love is like peering directly into the soul of Anonymous. You hear the words and you can feel a pain. A pain anyone that has truly, and I mean TRULY, loved someone and had their heart broken has felt. Take the song "What You Said" and tell me while toiling in heartache you have never uttered something to the effect of "Remember what you said, when we were lying in your bed...I'll never forget...you said you want me, you said you need me, you said you love me."
In my emails with Anonymous I dug for some background on the album and was told "I didn't want to make this album, but I didn't know what else to do with all my feelings." I also found out Anonymous has been working with music their whole life and mentioned never really being good at the whole process of it...making it, sharing it, and playing it for others. This is the album that changed everything and as Anonymous told me, "I'll let the tunes tell you the story."
Anonymous: "I really made this record for the woman I wrote it for. I still don't know if she's ever heard it."
After listening to the full album I understood that to know the whole story would defeat the purpose. There is nothing hidden in the songs, these are feelings put to song that were meant for only one person. They weren't written to get a record deal. They weren't sung to impress some random girl. They weren't recorded so you or I could hear them. They possibly aren't even being played for the one person they are intended to be heard by.
Anonymous: "I still continue to deal with this part of my life through music."
You can check it out for yourself on the bandcamp site here http://tomylonglostlove.bandcamp.com/
Oh and one other tidbit I got from Anonymous has to do with the album cover, which is the picture at the top of the page. If it looks a little fuzzy that's because the entire album cover is in 3D and even came with a pair of old school 3D glasses! I loved this and when I inquired about it I was told that the 2 of them made this together a while back for another project. "She was so inspired that day and made all those cute scenes. It's my favorite part of that record"
She may never hear this beautiful collection of songs but I am glad that I did.