“That was the bell. Did you hear it?” Lindsay Minton, the lead singer and guitarist for Houston ’90s-tinged emo revival band Football, Etc., is in a transition period, and not just a metaphoric one. When I call her I quickly hear a loud beep, signaling the end of a period at the school where she teaches 9th grade English. “It’ll happen again in about 30 seconds,” she says.
Minton has a chipper and friendly speaking voice, but on Football, Etc. songs and on Past Is Prelude, her new collection of solo material streaming below, she can wail, summoning an acute ache with her soft voice. Past Is Prelude was primarily recorded in 2008 when she was finishing up college in New Brunswick after the breakup of her previous band Tin Kitchen. “I think that you might see it as a transition from my old band to my new band,” she says. “But I also think it’s a little less—I don’t know how to describe it—I wanna say less loud because it wasn’t written live or anything like that.”
She’s right about it being less loud. With its introspective but cryptic lyrics and its bursts of dynamic guitar playing, the album can sound like a combination of Sunny Day Real Estate and Sharon Van Etten. The record is a co-release between Count Your Lucky Stars and Strictly No Capital Letters, but we’ve got an exclusive stream of the EP below. Listen to the full album while reading Minton’s thoughts and reflections on each track.
It didn’t even necessarily start off being an instrumental track because truly all of them were instrumental tracks, and then I went back and put vocals on stuff. I wasn’t even planning on doing it, but with this one I felt like it could stand alone without the vocals. As far as opening with it, I think it’s catchy. It’s a fun little song, so I thought it’d be a good start.
“Joe’s Old Hat”
Joe’s Old Hat was the name that my friend Joseph recorded music under, and he passed away from cancer when I was in college. So this song is about him.
On this song there’s a very specific thing I do on the guitar, which I saw Kyle Fischer from Rainer Maria do on the beginning of “Breakfast Of Champions,” where he hits the guitar instead of strumming the notes. So that’s a nod to him at the beginning when I’m hitting the strings instead of strumming them. He’s always been an influence. And as far as the song goes it really became something totally more awesome than I thought it would when [Keith Carne] the drummer put the drum tracks on it. He plays in Communipaw right now, and he played in the band Know Think in New Brunswick. He also majored in jazz performance drums. He was a musician that I wished I could be in a band with, but he agreed to record some tracks on this, and I was really stoked about that.
She was a friend of mine who was killed while riding on the handle bars of a bicycle when I was in 5th or 6th grade. I think it was in 5th grade because with that song the timing is in 5/4, and I think I started with the timing on the song, and I was thinking about the number 5, and I thought “5th grade,” then I thought, “Loretta Mazzone.” It was this weird train of thought that led to that. It was weird.
I try to keep things as cryptic as possible. That’s partially just the way I write lyrics… I think that for a lot of my stuff people think it’s maybe metaphoric, but it’s not. It’s actually very specific so I can kind of hide behind that. For instance ["Heart"] is about my mom, and I’ve never played it for her or told her that. So I’m not comfortable with sharing that still, but I feel like I get to hide behind some of the meaning of it. I don’t even tell my bandmates the true meanings of some of the songs.
It’s about someone being away. Let’s just put it like that.
Originally I had “Interlude” in the middle of the record, and then I think the kid who recorded the album, Dave Esterman—he also played in Know Think and plays in Communipaw—I think it was his suggestion to switch it around. I like the way it trails off at the end and fades away.
Football, Etc. will be touring the U.K. with labelmates Joie De Vivre this summer.