Broken Rainbows is a milestone release carefully crafted and meticulously produced to showcase a band confident of its songs, assured in its artistry, and supportive of its members’ songcraft. Thematically, the 11-song album hovers over a plot of ground that’s optimistic in its despair. Album topics range from the personal to the political, showcasing each member’s unique songwriting within an overall cohesive band aesthetic. Broken Rainbows was recorded and mixed at safe distance in Housh’s home studio in Columbus in the second half of 2020.
Select album standouts include “Orders Of The Day,” “Go With You,” and “Stripes And Stars.” The lonesome and pretty, “Orders Of The Day,” replete with pedal steel (courtesy of Barry Hensley, Big Back 40) feels like a lost Sweetheart of the Rodeo-era Byrds track. The lyrics are poetic and potent, one powerful passage reads: Losses always end up the same/Propping up the work that remains/They’re not striking out/Just hitting back, for themselves. “Go With You” features Bonnell on lead vocal and evokes Mazzy Star with a Crazy Horse-like eruption by song’s end. “Stripes And Stars” is an indie-folk sing-along with dense harmony vocals, whose lyrics ultimately belie its sweet nature. As Housh says: “This seemed like a silly one, though I feel proud of it. By inverting ‘stars and stripes’ in the title, I’m saying we got a lot of things backwards.”
Moviola has opened for or shared stages with: Flaming Lips, Red Red Meat, Califone, Superchunk, Bettie Serveert, Grifters, Acetone, Wussy, the Clean, Guided By Voices, and Dub Narcotic Sound System, among others. The band’s label, Anyway Records (Guided By Voices, Ass Ponys, Jenny Mae, and others), is run by longtime friend, Bela Koe-Krompecher whose first book will be coming out via the esteemed label Don Giovanni (Jamie Kilstein, Screaming Females, Waxahatchee).
“Moviola was one of those groups I met early on back in the day that showed me how to do it. ‘Broken Rainbows’ is a highlight—pastoral thumpers, fuzzy indie radness, hooks to spare, pretty much all the good stuff. Feels like a glorious drive from one disparate end of Ohio to another. I love this band.” – Eric Johnson (Fruitbats)
“(Broken Rainbows is…) wry songs, human voices and sounds calling back classic rock radio vibes from my midwest youth, cut with enough present-time weirdness and mystery to keep me in it. Mostly I can feel the love and longtime journey that exists between these guys. Feels like home.” – Tim Rutili (Califone)
“Moviola’s ‘Broken Rainbows’ inhabits the same space as ‘The Swimmer’ in John Cheever’s short story of the same name, in which the protagonist embarks on a mission to swim through all the backyard pools in his American burg. Each song is a sumptuous three-minute indie folk submergence from which the band surfaces to dry off and find themselves isolated and alien, yet strangely, almost absurdly, satisfied.” – Ron House (Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments, Great Plains)