I can always pinpoint the moment when an art form grabs me. Whether it has been music, film, or literature, I have always had that clear, definitive moment that made me fall in love. My love for each of these art forms came together when I created Bleakhaus.
Listen to the album while reading the text.
I am Bleakhaus. My name is Adam Lundy, and I am from a small town in Ireland called New Ross. I moved here at a young age, and the people I met here helped shape who I am and the art I create.
Inspirations by Accident
Throughout my teen years, I must have listened to nearly every conceivable genre: from folk to gangster rap to atmospheric black metal. In the end, it all shaped me but my musical moment of clarity came when I first listened to Bon Iver. When I was 17, I had only heard of Bon Iver, and I dismissed his music without even listening to him. When I heard “Perth” (by accident), I fell in love and from there pursued the kind of music that would both push you away and pull you close. I wanted to create a rich tapestry of sound.
I was actually 16 when I came up with the name Bleakhaus. It is interesting because I only later became aware of the Dickens novel, Bleak House. I actually came up with it while attempting to come up with a name for an experimental project I was working on. I was listening to Bauhaus at the time and basically stole the -haus part and added a word I thought would sound despairing: bleak. The project amounted to nothing and stayed dormant for years until I was 23 was looking for a moniker to release some lo-fi indie folk music under.
The Secret History
At this time I was mainly listening to two artists: Bon Iver and Mount Eerie. I was also struggling quite a lot with depression, anxiety, and loneliness. These influences and feelings of desolation led me to creat my first album The Secret History.
The Secret History was a project I worked on for the best part of the year. When it started out I wasn’t even thinking of releasing an album, it was just a way for me to vent and pour my feelings into something. The first song I wrote that ended up on the album was The Woods. This was a song I wrote to help me come to terms with some feelings about a traumatic experience I had when I was 17. That was the first song I had written in years, and it was a turning point for me. From there I was writing non-stop for six months, and before I knew it, I had created an album’s worth of material.
The influences from Bon Iver and Mount Eerie are clear on the songs and lyrically the majority deal with the anxieties and darkness I was feeling. However, I did take influences from further afield. Two of the tracks, including the title track, are heavily influenced by my love for the TV series, Twin Peaks (more on that later). I also used my admiration for the blackgaze band Deafheaven as an influence on two of the tracks. I also used my interests in literature as a starting point lyrically; for example the song Desolate Angels is named after and inspired by the writings of American author Jack Kerouac. Kerouac is again referenced in This World is a Lonely Place.
I released The Secret History through my brother’s label, UrRoute Music, in November 2018.
During the time of mastering and sending the album away for publication, I met my wonderful girlfriend, Niamh. This was a time of huge mental turnaround for me. She raised me out of the depths of depression and makes me happier than I ever thought I could be.
Also, around this time I was both writing and revisiting old licks and riffs and began developing them into full songs. I had a lot of the music complete, but I was having a real mental block when it came to the lyrics. Usually, the lyrics came easily because I was using music as a conduit for my negative feelings, but now I had nothing to purge.
At the time Niamh and I were watching Twin Peaks (her for the first time, and me for the 100th) and I was reminded how much I enjoyed capturing the essence and aesthetic of the show on previous songs. I made a plan for an eight-track album about Twin Peaks that I would name Northwest Passage (in reference to the title of the pilot episode). Even though I had written a lot of the music before the concept of a Twin Peaks tribute album was even decided on, the influence was already evident.
My second album has a much richer orchestration, and the majority of songs have a dream pop quality (a genre that series co-creator, David Lynch, helped pioneer). I also took quite a bit of influence from Radiohead (a personal favorite of mine). Lyrically, this album became straight forward to write. Some songs were the retelling of plot points; others were more about recreating the atmosphere of the show.
All in all the album ended up having nine tracks after I added in an intermission comprising of rolling, heavily reverberated synths called Threnody for Lonely Souls. I released two singles on the album, Northwest Passage and On the Bridge, which have since garnered local radio play and became two of my favorites to perform.
Northwest Passage was released in January 2019.
As a side project during my downtime I also created a collection of contemporary classical/modernist pieces which I called Impressions I-VII. This was also released in January 2019.
Whats next for me and the Bleakhaus project? Honestly I don’t know. As my tastes are constantly evolving it is hard for me determine which direction to take next. After three releases in such a small amount of time I plan on taking some time out from recording and just focus on performing songs from the first two albums. All I know for sure is that I will always try to push boundaries.
If you’re interested in following my journey be sure to follow my instagram (link below).
Bleakhaus, Category: Artist, Albums: Northwest Passage, The Secret History, Singles: Bleakhaus, Top Tracks: The Woods, Laura, Northwest Passage, The Secret History, The Rain, Biography: Bleakhaus is the recording name of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Adam Lundy., Monthly Listeners: 26, Where People Listen: Dublin, Waterford, Kilkenny, Maynooth, Limerick
One thought on “The Secret History”
Richly atmospheric music… nice work. – tsk