Hideout. For a thief or a deposed dictator, it's a place to lay low till the heat is off. For the rest of us, it's whatever we might use to retreat when the "real" world is too much to deal with-relationships, drugs, music, or some other form of distraction.
And for Film School, it's also about finding new inspiration after some tumultuous times that could have come straight from a movie: following years of hard work, the band was signed to Beggars Banquet, and their 2006 self-titled debut for the label earned accolades across the country and across the pond. The band scored coveted opening slots for The National and the Rogers Sisters all over Europe before headlining their own tour of the States. But in the middle of that tour, frontman Greg Bertens got jumped outside a club in Columbus, Ohio; then in Philadelphia, somebody stole the tour van, plowing straight through the security gate of the motel parking lot, with all the band's equipment inside. Once back home, the stress of a demanding show schedule, the ups and downs of a trying year, and emerging creative differences among bandmates ended with the decision to move forward with a change in personnel, and Film School looking to a fresh beginning with a new album.
Hideout is Film School's second full-length for Beggars Banquet. Written largely in Bertens' Los Angeles apartment (a few doors down from Glenn Danzig's haunted-looking house), recorded in both LA and San Francisco studios with engineer Dan Long, mixed by Phil Ek (Built to Spill, Band of Horses, the Shins, Stephen Malkmus), and produced by Bertens, Hideout builds on the band's pretty, shoegazer pop and richly textured space-rock soundscapes by emphasizing powerful rhythms and beautiful melodies that take the songwriting to a new level. Bertens' signature vocal delivery shows more breadth on this release, and evokes a plaintive longing that is magnified by the addition of female voices, courtesy of bassist Lorelei Plotcyzk and guest vocalists Tracy Uba (Timonium) and Leah Piehl. Other guest musicians loaning their talents to the album are Colm O'Ciosoig (My Bloody Valentine) and Paul Wilson (Snow Patrol).
Ultimately, Hideout is a tribute to the friends and fans who supported Film School when they needed it the most. The album's credits include a list of more than 140 people, each of whom came to the rescue-with money, equipment, time, or otherwise-after the band's gear was stolen last year. "It's really important to me," Bertens says of the extensive thank-you's. "This album wouldn't have happened without all these people."