Truly "Heart And Lungs" EP (1991)

It's hard to believe that the movie Singles was released 25 years ago today, on September 18, 1992. Cameron Crowe's romantic comedy was set against the backdrop of the legendary Seattle grunge rock scene when it was at its peak, and now serves as a time capsule item for that vital time and place in rock and roll history. Its soundtrack album was a who's-who of Seattle grunge artists, featuring songs from many of the genre's giants (Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains) alongside tracks from Mother Love Bone (featuring members-to-be of Pearl Jam), Mudhoney, and Screaming Trees. It also featured songs by pre-grunge Seattle icons like Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart (as the Lovemongers) and Jimi Hendrix (who, by the way, died on this date in 1970). To top it all off, it contained two solo tracks from Paul Westerberg (shortly after the breakup of the Replacements), and one of the best Smashing Pumpkins songs ever, "Drown", which was not included on any Pumpkins album until a decade later. Earlier this year, a Deluxe Version of the Singles soundtrack album was released, featuring an additional disc full of bonus tracks. The main attraction of the bonus disc was the inclusion of six rare solo tracks by the late Chris Cornell (who, eerily enough, died only days before this Deluxe Edition was released).

Another track on that bonus disc was "Heart And Lungs", recorded by a lesser-known Seattle band called Truly. This band featured bassist Hiro Yamamoto (a founding member of Soundgarden), drummer Mark Pickerel (a founding member of Screaming Trees), singer Robert Roth, and guitarist Chris Quinn. The song is more neo-psychedelia than grunge, although it does have a touch of Alice In Chains-like texture. The song was included in the film, but was left off the soundtrack album due to time constraints. It's good to hear this lesser-known nugget from the early-'90's Seattle scene finally get its due representation on the Singles soundtrack album.

"Heart and Lungs" was the title track from Truly's 4-song debut EP from 1991, which was issued by the Sub Pop label and is now unavailable. The three other tracks on Heart And Lungs possessed a similar neo-psychedelia with just a hint of grunge, often reminiscent of Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation album, but less dissonant and more trippy. The second track, "The Color Is Magic", is the high point of the EP, a dreamy shoegazer that builds up to a recklessly intense climax. The closing track, "Married In The Playground", is the grungiest and most straightforward of the four, bearing some resemblance to Bleach-era Nirvana. Truly's Hearts And Lungs EP is worth discovering not only for grunge aficionados, but also for those who appreciate the creativity that came out of the alternative rock underground in 1991, now regarded as the year that punk broke. There was something in the water during that watershed year, especially in Seattle.

Truly - Heart and Lungs

Truly "Heart And Lungs" EP (Sub Pop SP118B) 1991

Track Listing:

1. Heart And Lungs
2. The Color Is Magic
3. Truly Drowning
4. Married In The Playground