The project was assembled in 2010 by successful veteran producer and multi-instrumentalist HP Gundersen (Sondra Lerche, Madrugada, Ane Brun, Tim Rose). He became obsessed with Stephen Stills' "secret tuning" on "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes," and spent some time exploring music based on open, modal guitar tunings, hence his term for the Last Hurrah!!'s music: "drone guitar." The first lineup was formed in Bergen, Norway around his droning guitars (electric, acoustic, and pedal steel) and vocalist Heidi Goodbye (Heidi Torsvik), with eight other musicians playing everything from standard rock combo instruments to tambura, bouzouki, and violin in a meld of folk and country-rock, hooky pop with rich vocal harmonies, and a strong West Coast psychedelic influence. Signed to Rune Gramophon, their debut album, Spiritual Non-Believers, was released in 2011. Comprising only three songs, it included the sprawling "Ballad of Billy and Lilly," which was over a half-hour in length. The group played some live dates in Norway and attracted the admiration of a large number of musicians, both local and international. When Gundersen and Goodbye reentered the studio, the band was much larger and more fluid, alternating personnel from track to track. American jazz saxophonist Jon Irabagon contributed to a pair of songs. The end result was 2013's universally acclaimed The Beauty of Fake.
Ever restless, Gundersen shifted most of his personnel again. He enlisted American singer/songwriter Maesa Pullman (daughter of American actor Bill Pullman) as lead vocalist in a sprawling Norwegian and American ensemble that contrasted earthy songwriting with sometimes lavish arrangements. The single "Weight of the World" b/w "Is It Me" was released in March of 2015, followed by the full-length Mudflowers in August. Pullman's cousin Rosa sang lead on one track and was one of many backing vocalists on the album; Maesa's brother Jack joined the Last Hurrah!!'s live incarnation on guitar and banjo.
For 2018's Los Angeles, Gundersen and Pullman (playing guitar, drums, and piano), were joined by multi-instrumentalist, recording engineer, and co-producer Jason Hiller; they comprise the core trio. Originally seen as a one-off project, it soon became clear that the chemistry between the three -- and a cast of guest studio players -- was much deeper and far-reaching than the Americana influences that dominated Mudflowers, resulting in a seamless collage of elegant pop and psychedelia. Los Angeles was issued in the fall of 2018 by Rune Gramophon. ~ Thom Jurek, Rovi