Coming off a five-year hiatus, Seattle indie folk band Ivan & Alyosha released their self-titled record Ivan & Alyosha in October. After a long run of albums, EPs and tours, the group took a collective breather from recording in 2015.

“In that time, I remember we were scrambling to get the full-length, It’s All Just Pretend, done, and then scrambling to get on the road, and maybe it wasn’t making a ton of sense,” says Tim Wilson, guitarist and lead vocalist. “And I think part of it was you kind of spend a lot of other peoples’ money and then at some point there’s a reality check.”

The band reconvened over a campfire a couple years later, and after sharing music they had been working on independently, they felt they were excited about the new songs and were ready to record again. The first song they recorded during this break, “Everybody Breaks,” reminds us of the universal endeavor of being human and couldn’t come at a better time than 2020.

“Especially now, I think there’s a big starvation for hope in the world, and in our nation,” says Wilson. “And I think this song really points that out, that there’s a decision you can make to reach out for hope.”

Recorded in a family-owned cabin an hour outside of Seattle, with equipment all purchased by the group themselves, they found a sense of returning to the creative freedom of their first few projects with this latest release.

“This was a real freeing experience; there was no record label involved, there were no managers, no booking agents asking us when we were going to get on the road again. The pressure was definitely off. And I think that’s why we maybe felt comfortable.”