Premiere: Warren Dunes’ Outside of the Box Thinking Leads to New Song for Librarians

Warren Dunes is a family business of sorts. The Seattle-based band, prone to creating joyful postmodern beach music, is composed of prolific singer/songwriter Julia Massey and musician brothers Jared and Dominic Cortese. (Massey and Jared also married soon after music brought them together.) As a trio, they named themselves after the Warren Dunes State Park in Southwest Michigan, a place where the Cortese brothers grew up.

Videos by American Songwriter

So, courtesy of their intentional and genuine beginnings, Warren Dunes is a musical group that recognizes the beauty in our human connectedness. 

The band’s latest single pays tribute to this sentiment; it touches on a part of our shared experiences. The song, titled “Librarian,” tells the story of the people who nourish our minds—librarians.

“This is an ode to the oft unsung heroes who pass the torch of free knowledge from generation to generation: librarians,” the band tells American Songwriter about the track.

“Our band likes to write songs about subjects that make people think outside the usual songwriters’ source material,” they continue. “We can’t think of a better subject than the folks who keep our populace educated and informed. This is our homage to librarians the world over!”

More specifically, though, the song itself emerged from Massey’s personal encounter with a friendly librarian. While living in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Massey was working at a circulation desk. There she friended one of the librarians who “rode a yellow bike and had a very cheery personality.” This friendship—in addition to her many days spent learning from the library’s catalog—left an unshakable impression on Massey. So much so that Massey decided to document the importance of knowledge and acknowledge curators in song. 

“Librarian” was consequently born from this experience and showcases the band’s irresistibly quirky ability to string soundscapes together. And as we continue in National Library Week (April 3-9, 2022), we can all take a moment to thank the librarians in our lives.

Listen to the exclusive premiere of “Librarian” below and watch for its official release on April 8.

Photos courtesy of Warren Dunes.

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