Rising NYC alt-rock band Hello Halo and Fred Mascherino (ex-Taking Back Sunday, The Color Fred, Terrible Things) have collaborated on a new single that expresses the unsettling nature of 2020. “Under the Starlight” will be released Friday, Nov. 13 on all digital platforms, but you can hear it exclusively at Highway 81 Revisited today.
“All of this loneliness is driving us insane/ All this commotion is making me dizzy/ All this raw emotion is making me lose my sleep,” Paul Nathaniel sings before a cautiously hopeful chorus offers some comfort: “Only for a moment am I certain we can make it to the edge/ Where we go from here is anybody’s guess.”
“Our peril is mostly of our own making, born of manufactured ideological incompatibility,” lead singer/songwriter Nathaniel says. “We know we are stuck together and must find a way to productively coexist despite our differences. Yet we’ve been at each other’s throats for decades, cemented in a ceaseless psychological civil war. Shaping our culture to think in extremes, politicizing every aspect of modern life…My hope is that ‘Under the Starlight’ helps validate the anxious and distraught while preserving their hope and curiosity for what is to come. The future is a mystery we all help discover and define.”
Mascherino, the producer and featured guitarist on the track, started working on it when Hello Halo guitarist Jon Bernstein “would come over to the studio and we’d write together,” he says.
“One Sunday, he showed me something he wrote the day before and I started playing chords under it,” Mascherino recalls. “We set up two mics and just recorded it live. We were instantly excited about what we were hearing. We felt like there was such a deep vibe to the parts. When we added singing later, we were intent on keeping that same feeling and Paul totally nailed it. We decided to use the original live guitars on the final mix and it seems to give it that depth that a live performance has. Sometimes that imperfect push and pull of people playing off of each other is actually perfect.”
It’s the first new material from Hello Halo, which in addition to Nathaniel and Jon Bernstein includes drummer Juan Pablo Pastor and bassist Jeremy Bernstein, since its debut album, “Maybe This Can’t Wait,” in April 2020, which was produced by Dominic Gallucci (Lyfe Jennings, Laura Warshauer) and mixed by Rich Keller (Snoop Dogg, Swizz Beatz, Nipsey Hussle).
The band has performed at high-profile venues in New York City, including a show with Story of the Year, a sold-out, headlining show at Gramercy Theater and dates at Irving Plaza, Mercury Lounge, Bowery Ballroom and (Le) Poisson Rouge.
You can pre-save or pre-purchase “Under the Starlight” here.