Last month, Ed Hale released his first new album in three years, the critically acclaimed So For Real, which has made several Best of 2018 album lists in the blogosphere. And now he’s just dropped another new track. On Friday October 26th, Dying Van Gogh Records released Hale’s “Born to Lose”, the first single and title track of another new album due out later this year. The release of “Born to Lose” coincides with the singer’s birthday and will be available to download and stream on all major music services.
Hale has long been known as a prolific songwriter and is no stranger to multiple releases. In 2012 he and his Transcendence bandmates released the devilishly epic rock concept album All Your Heroes Become Villains and the garage pop collection The Great Mistake within months of each other. And rumors of three new album releases this year have been rampant.
Fans who are enjoying the catchy, celebratory sound of So For Real may be taken aback by the darker brooding “Born to Lose”, though probably not surprised. Hale and band have always been labeled “genre-defying” since their 2002 World Music meets Alt Rock debut Rise and Shine. So it’s no surprise that the folksy, emotionally stirring “Born to Lose” is a stark contrast to the upbeat Chamber Pop of So For Real and its three hit singles “Summer Flowers”, “The Prince of New York” and “Gimme Some Rock ‘n’ Roll”.
Hale and fellow bandmates Fernando Perdomo and Roger Houdaille co-produced “Born to Lose”, along with forty-plus other songs recorded over a three year period in Miami, New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle. Longtime Transcendence collaborators Bill Sommer, Matthew Sabatella, Greg Byers and Paul Messina were also on board. The song was written by Hale and frequent songwriting partner Tyler Bejoian.
Unlike the more polished So For Real, “Born to Lose” is a rougher-cut, moody exploration of loneliness, regret, desperation and those dark nights of the soul that lead to asking “What can I do? I was born to lose” as in the song’s haunting refrain. If So For Real is the album one sings along to at full volume on a night out on the town with good friends, “Born to Lose” is a song one listens to alone in the car ride home in the darkest hours of night.
“Born to Lose” may be on the serious side, but that doesn’t stop it from being a thoroughly enjoyable listening experience, with a midpoint dead stop that is nothing less than chill-inducing, followed by a slow-building synth-layered crescendo that begs to be listened to again and again.
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