The Other Bones, left to right: Andrew Mead, Loretta Allen Edes and Eric Bruce Schnare. Photo by Greta Rybus

The story of Portland electronic/rock/pop trio The Other Bones is laced with melodrama, starts and stops, and making good on some unfinished business.

The band formed in 2011 and broke up in 2014, but fences were mended, finally resulting in a full-length album that’s so exceptional it’s heartbreaking that there unlikely will be another one.

A few singles and an EP did make their way out into the world before the breakup, but the all-important full-length album was left swirling in an abyss of hurt feelings, miscommunication and external pressures. Until now.

The Other Bones album “In The Night With Me.” Artwork and album photography by Eric Bruce Schnare

“In The Night With Me” was released on Dec. 17. The band is Loretta Allen Edes on vocals, Eric Bruce Schnare on guitar and Andrew Mead on synths and production. The band said in an email that in the course of making the album, the roles blurred, and outside of vocals, “everybody basically played everything on this album.”

“In The Night With Me” is the kind of record that should make The Other Bones famous. “Famous” is a messy, open-to-interpretation word, of course, but my point is, I hope this album catches fire and makes its way into ears around the country and beyond. Even without the backstory, the record is monumental, and Edes’ vocals are among the best I’ve heard.

After a 43-second intro called “Open,” the album catapults itself into the song “In the Night.” “I was not blinded by your holy light, your holy face,” sings Edes atop a tapestry of beats and synths. It throbs with lush desperation, and the band chose wisely to place it at the beginning. From there, it’s onto “Sight,” with Schnare’s whirring guitar and Mead’s “more is more” placement of other sounds. Then there’s the absolutely engrossing “In Case You’re Wrong,” with piano, sweeping beats and frantic pace. “One & One” is yet another striking track, and the companion video is just as captivating.

The Other Bones Photo by Greta Rybus

I was thrilled to see that “Secure,”  originally released in 2017 on the “Circular” EP, made it onto the album. The line “Why am I not good enough” is repeated, and it’s both eviscerating and empowering.

I could rave about every single track, but my favorite song on the album is “Rotations,”  which turns out is the band’s favorite, too. I learned this by listening to their podcast, “The Breakup Album.” It’s a short-run podcast meant to serve as a companion to the album, and so far, three episodes have been released with more coming. I was enthralled hearing Edes, Schnare and Mead speak in such an open, unfiltered way about the band’s history, the infamous email that broke them up and why it was so important for them to finish the album. It also takes listeners into the studio and offers all sorts of personal and technical details about every song. You’ll also hear what it was like for the band to have major label interest that ultimately didn’t go anywhere, and the toll it took on them.

The band started working on “In The Night With Me” in January 2014 during a residency at The Halo recording studio. Over a four-month period, about 25 demos were written and recorded, with the goal of ending up with a finished album.

“Unfortunately, it was also an incredibly tumultuous time for us interpersonally,” Schnare said, on behalf of the band.

They split up in messy fashion in July of that same year. A couple years later, they healed some fractured relationships and realized that they owed it to themselves to finish the album. It was important to the band to maintain the original integrity of what was done in 2014, so changes were kept to a minimum. Mead handled recording, production and mixing duties, and the album was mastered by Adam Ayan at Gateway Mastering.

“In The Night With Me” is available for purchase digitally, and you’ll find it on streaming platforms. The band said they would love to do an album release show, and if that gets announced, I’ll be sure to help get the word out.

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