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Luke Martin and David Johnson,’ 17, released a folk album. | Facebook.

Some­where in early April of my freshman year, I found myself attending the 11:30 a.m. Sunday Mass at St. Anthony’s nearly every weekend. This was not because I loved the semi-Latin liturgy. I had found a place to drink, sing, and smoke indoors on late Sat­urday nights.

Most current Hillsdale stu­dents are too young to remember The Don­ny­brook, but those who do knew that in its final 2016 gasp, the house became syn­onymous with dis­so­lution. Crazy things hap­pened there. Crazy people lived there. I remember one late winter night, taking off my shirt and running around the house yelling about Jeff Mangum — all because some girl said “no balls” if I didn’t.

Behind all the madness lurked David Johnson ’17 and Luke Martin ’17. Friends called them DJ and Sparty. DJ was entirely deaf in one ear and could play guitar like no one else on campus. Sparty knew how to raise hell.

The two got into a lot of trouble that year and dragged a bunch of their friends into trouble too, but never with mali­cious intent. Maybe there was no intent: They were wild.

They were also secretly writing a series of folk songs that would even­tually become the project Lost Mary. The duo dropped their eponymous release today through 2016 alumnus Joel Calvert’s label HOT SALAD RECORDS. Lost Mary will host a lis­tening party at 7 p.m. at Rough Draft Thursday.

The album is a sad one and plays with the wistful indie-folk sound of unrec­og­nized potential. According to DJ, this is no accident; Lost Mary is an elegy to his and Sparty’s college years.  

“A lot of the stuff on the album is either old songs or old ideas,” he said.

Both DJ and Sparty said they have moved on from the style of songs they were coming up with at when they lived at the Don­ny­brook and then later at the Boon­docks. They’re into the blues now.

Even when they were recording the album, the two could feel their affinity for playing and writing folk music fading. The project even­tually became a statement of the past, a cat­a­logue of what college had meant to the two.

“We were lit­erally drunk the entire time,” DJ said of the recording ses­sions. “It wasn’t like ‘Oh let’s pop a beer open and drink while we record.’ It was more like, ‘Let’s finish that bottle of wine in the morning and then move on to the next one and then the next one.’”

Sparty said this lifestyle affected their sound.

“It isn’t con­ducive to recording or per­forming or to singing — your voice gets shot imme­di­ately,” he said. “I think we drank too much.”

DJ agreed.

“We were really glad that Hillsdale was over,” he said. “And we wanted to just decom­press and work on this music.”

Sparty clar­ified, however, that they were not drunk the entire time.

“We were def­i­nitely hung-over for much of the album,” he said.

Because the album was recorded so quickly, the two said they were dis­sat­isfied with their efforts.

“When you record a song, you to let it ferment,” Sparty said. “You got to let it sit to let it sit.”

A lot of these songs did not sit.

The two made sure to add, however, that Joel Calvert’s pro­duction made the album a fun expe­rience that they hope their friends and lis­teners will enjoy — even if it’s no longer the musical direction in which Lost Mary is moving.

“As a first album, it’s good. I mean, it’s good enough. You can’t have a first album be great,” Sparty said.

When I inter­viewed DJ and Luke, it was like going back those Don­ny­brook days. They were covered in house paint and smoking Pall Malls in the basement of the Don­ny­brook. Empty beer cans sur­rounded them. The room smelled vaguely of urine.

Sparty and DJ have con­tinued on — both in life and their music — leaving behind the past, hol­lowed out by mem­ories both good and bad.

Their  Don­ny­brook and every­thing it stood for existed in a place between dream and reality. Of course it had to end. Lost Mary is a fitting eulogy.