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LCG & the X On Releasing An Album Right As Everything Changed

LCG & the X
LCG & the X

This is Songwriters & Tour Riders, a music podcast from KOSU and Oklahoma State University and hosted by Matthew Viriyapah.

LCG & the Xspent 18 months performing and working on their first album. But when they  released their self-titled debut, it came out at the worst possible time — March 2020, right as the pandemic became a reality for many of us. Morgan Hartman is the lead singer of the Oklahoma City rock band and recalls the day and what it has been like for the band since.

Listen above to hear Morgan Hartman talk about the album's release, writing a song based on A Tale of Two Cities and what it's like to listen to those songs now.

On releasing the album and cancelling the coinciding performance

Businesses were just starting to shut down. It was supposed to be on Friday the 13th last year. I feel like that weekend is when everybody was like 'Okay! It's bad. Shutting down!'

We were just... right now is not a good time to have a huge group of people in a small space. So were just like better safe than sorry. We can't do it. Everything just went out the window.

And then right after that I got super sick, but it wasn't COVID. I don't know what it was, but I was bedridden for like three weeks and then COVID was a thing so I was locked into the house because they thought it was COVID. But it was before testing got more structured so I had to wait like ten days for my test resuts for one test. So I was confined to my house right off the bat.

Everything was turned around so quick we couldn't even plan or think about a lot. It was more just mentally individually tryting to figure out what the hell was going on right now. We kind of just took some time to ourselves, all of us, to like everyone just try emotionally mentally stay with it and figure out what life was going to be for the next few months. It turns out it was weird for everybody.

For some reason, we had a lot more momentum when we were playing shows. I know I did. When we're playing shows, it made it easier to feel more real. Now everything feels less than part time.

On finding her own voice

I've actually just worked really hard to not sound like other people because when I first started, I found myself doing that only and it was just kind of annoying and inauthentic and just trying to copy something else. I didn't even know what I was doing, but I very much was. So, I don't ever want to do that again.

I just want to constantly try to find my own voice and not have anyone tell me what to do.

On originally being an all-female band

When I started in bands when I was like 20 with all guys, they did treat me different than the guys - either in a hyper-sexualized way or in just kind of a dismissive way. And some people were awesome and didn't do that at all, but still it was noticeable - the difference. And figuring out how to not to be insecure in those instances - when you're so young, you don't know and you're scared. You don't know that you need to have all this confidence or realize what they're doing exactly.

So, a lot of it came from that angst of being dismissed or ignored or hyper-sexualized, especially in the beginning. We were kind of mad. We still are.

We definitely wanted to go into it kind of hard-headed in that sense in like, you're not going to get away with a bunch of bullshit. And we're going to stand our ground and say what we want to say and be angry about it, because it needs to be said.

On writing a song based A Tale of Two Cities

I love that book. I was just thinking about inequality in general and that's what ["Shark Week"] is about, is the disparity between the rich and the poor. And also there's an underlying note of being on your period. Just like the funny thing about people saying 'oh you're agressive.'

It just sounded like a crazy bus full of hippies or something. There's this dance they do in [A Tale of Two Cities] called The Carmagnole and I always wanted to do a video of them doing it to that song.

On listening to the album now

If I listen to it, I'll just cry. Just cause I'm so happy for it and it's my baby and something so special with me and my other friends in the group. And it's also sad for it, because it is such a strange time. But it's always nice when people bring it up. Sometimes I forget, and maybe it's a coping mechanism and just put it out of my mind since I didn't get a lot of closure with it.

I was at Ponyboy for the first time since before all this happened and they played the music video for "Runaway." And everybody was clapping and it was really cool, and that made it feel really special.

You know, you work so hard for years on these things and you throw them out there and you kind of have to put it out of your mind for better or worse.

Music featured in this episode:

  1. LCG & the X - Lil Peaches
  2. Larry Chin - Time Only Lies
  3. LCG & the X - 28 Days
  4. LCG & the X - Part Time Lovin'
  5. LCG & the X - White Line Getaway
  6. LCG & the X - Ozzy
  7. mewithoutyou - In A Sweater Poorly Knit
  8. LCG & the X - Shark Week
  9. LCG & the X - Peach Boys
  10. LCG & the X - Forgive Me

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Matthew Viriyapah is KOSU's production assistant and host of the music podcast Songwriters & Tour Riders.
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