In The Cinema
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In The Cinema

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"for the struggle" - released January, 2010
"the illness project" - released July 2007



"To send light into the darkness of men's hearts...such is the duty of the artist."
-Robert Schumann, 19th Century German Composer

Framed and hanging on the wall in their Northeast Minneapolis studio, melodic indie rock duo In The Cinema refers to this quote often. While spending most of 2009 writing and recording in this humble space, it was these powerful words that became the driving force behind their new collection of music, titled "for the struggle". A captivating and beautiful blend of both classic acoustic tones and ambient electronica, this new album stretches the modern rock boundaries. Acoustic guitars and warm vocals float alongside dreamy pianos, lush synth pads and innocent glockenspiel, while a deep sea of layered beats, samples and hand percussion provide the perfect substructure. The result is a mesmerizing and colorful sonic tapestry, the perfect soundtrack for life's inescapable peaks and valleys.

Many siblings grow apart with the passing of time. For most musicians, the thought of creating and performing with a brother or sister is foreign territory. But brothers Ryan and Joe Hughes have always kept a close bond. "We were pretty inseperable", Ryan recalls, "even with an age difference of 6 years we always got along." Being raised by strict Baptist parents posed a big problem when it came to discovering anything the "outside world" had to offer. "We couldn't wait for mom and dad to leave the house", says Joe, "just so we could listen to the radio or watch MTV!" The brothers tinkered with their own musical creations as well, staging their own concerts in the living room. These secret performances were mostly play-alongs and lip-synced replicas of the mainstream pop landscape (the time was the early 90's, we'll let you guess which pop gems made the cut).

The birth of a new century found the Hughes brothers in two different parts of the country. After two years of college and two years of post-collegiate wandering, Ryan put down roots in Minneapolis. "I was a theater major in school, so I had planned on moving out West to starve out my 20's as an actor", Ryan recalls, "but I was never fully sold on that idea." During this time of uncertainty, Ryan picked up the guitar and began writing. Inspired by songwriters like Cat Stevens, Matt Johnson (The The) and Morrissey, he became enthralled with putting his most private, sometimes forbidden thoughts to music. "I found it very refreshing and quickly realized that it was much easier to say things if I was singing them", says Ryan, "I guess I still write that way today." He has been consumed with this need for self-expression ever since.

900 miles away, Joe was on a journey of his own. He had moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where his love for music led him to local improv, jam and jazz clubs. Bands like Medeski, Martin and Wood, The String Cheese Incident and 311 were among the first to pull him in. Their unspoken communication and freedom onstage was inspiring, and Joe was equally floored by their amazing drummers. "I remember seeing George Clinton and P-Funk at a downtown block party", Joe recalls, "It was such a raw, crazy show with some amazing friends and I saw how live music could really unite people." Another event that shook his world was STS9 at Bonnaroo in the summer of 2003. "I was absolutely blown away by how connected they were as a band" says Joe, "I had never seen them before and it truly was a life-changing experience." It was at this point that Joe began experimenting with electronic beats and incorporating them into his live setup as a drummer.

In 2005, Ryan had released his first solo album and was busy playing shows with a three-piece band. "We were having fun and staying busy, but for me something was missing", says Ryan. At the same time, Joe needed a change in scenery, so he left the glamorous streets of Memphis for the tropical terrain of Minneapolis. He joined Ryan's band on hand percussion and samples, adding some additional texture. They both quickly realized that the connection they shared as children was still alive and well, just waiting to be nurtured. Their first album was finished a year later and they quickly hit the road in support of their debut, titled "The Illness Project". "We wanted desperately to see the country so we booked 24 shows and headed out West for 5 weeks" says Joe. "It was the greatest experience, there truly is nothing better than playing music to new people every night." After a year of playing shows, they headed back into the studio to begin their next adventure.

For their second album, the Hughes brothers took a more collaborative approach. Instead of building mainly on Ryan's lyrics and melodies, Joe's programming and percussion became the genesis for many of the songs. They welcomed spontaneity and improvisation into the sessions, recording everything but the live drums in their own space. As the title reflects, the songs are about hope, des