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Love Spirals Downwards


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Ethereal alternative electronica

Status:

Posthumous release, Live (live, digital only, 2014); final release of new material, flux (1998)

See also:

Love Spirals Downwards site

Love Spirals Downwards' Bandcamp site

Lovespirals site

The Ectophiles' Guide's entry for Lovespirals, Ryan Lum's subsequent band

Comparisons:

Other ethereal bands like Cocteau Twins, Siddal, An April March, The Moon Seven Times, Everything But The Girl, Mazzy Star, Cranes

Covers/own material:

Mainly original material, with a few covers here and there [see: Of These Reminders, Excelsis (v.1 & 3), Ardor ("Tear Love From My Mind")]

General comments:

After the final 1998 studio album, Flux, Love Spirals Downwards evolved into Lovespirals, with new collaborator, Anji Bee.

often slagged as a cocteau twins ripoff, love spirals downwards is a california-based duo who are the epitome of ethereal, dreamy music. I quite like them and don't think they ripoff anyone. wouldn't say that their sound is darker than the cocteau twins. in fact, the only cocteau twins album that love spirals downwards is really similar to is victorialand. love spirals downwards goes for the acoustic-ethereal sound. very fragile, very pretty. i think i prefer idylls, but i have not listened to ardor enough to really have a strong picture of its sound in my mind yet. (woj@smoe.org)

This is flowing, ethereal music with flowing, ethereal vocals. Anyone who is enthralled by angelic, ethereal, alternative music will experience a corner of heaven when they hear this. They are not just cocteau twins wannabes (anymore than Mozart was a Bach wannabe). (vickie@enteract.com)

Love Spirals Downwards sounds more like the cocteau twins (circa Treasure) than The Moon Seven Times does. I guess Love Spirals Downwards is a little gloomier than cocteau twins (despair must be a prerequisite to get signed to Projekt records). As for accessibility, if you are used to one band, you'll understand where the other is coming from. (dbucak@netaxs.com)

I rather like the way love spirals downwards sounds like a subdued cocteau twins. very pleasant music. (clsriram@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)

There's quite a bit from Projekt that I like, though it tends to be stuff I have to be in the right mood for. I have a number of discs from Love Spirals Downwards, Black Tape for a Blue Girl and Lycia, and there's something to like about all of them, though I think Love Spirals Downwards is overall the strongest. (larnep@pathfinder.com)

Comments about live performance:

They started off doing trip-hop versions of a couple of songs—"Sideways Forest" and an unrecorded one. The rest of the set was acoustic and bare. The focus—Suzanne Perry's crystalline voice. While enjoyable (they included a great cover of a Mojave 3 song), it was a bit too languid for the crowd. I heard them again with a more attentive crowd at a music store shortly after. There they moved from pseudo-Eastern ("Mediterranea"), romantic airs ("Love's Labour's Lost") to a more Mazzy Star-ish feel. They seem to encompass all styles of ethereal music. (ethereal_lad@livejournal.com)

Recommended first album:

Idylls or Ardor, or Temporal for a beginning sampler.

Recordings:

  • Idylls (1992)
  • Ardor (1996)
  • Sideways Forest EP (1996)
  • Ever (1996)
  • flux (1998)
  • Temporal (compilation, 2000)
  • Live (live, digital only, 2014)

Idylls

Release info:

1992—Projekt—36

Availability:

Wide in U.S.

Ecto priority:

Essential for lovers of ethereal music

Group members:

Ryan Lum—guitar, bass, keyboard, sampling & programming, vocal arrangements, lyrics, engineering, production
Suzanne Perry—vocals, lyrics

Guest artists:

Jeff Stone—congas, shakers

Produced by:

Ryan Lum

Comments:

While these are songs with lyrics they seem the be mood pieces and not clearly differentiated from song to song. (woj@smoe.org)

One of the most beautiful, shimmering, ethereal albums I've ever heard. So highly recommended to ethereal fans that the recommendation scale breaks into tiny pieces! (vickie@enteract.com)

If you don't own this you should make acquiring it a very top priority. This is the most fulfilling *first* listen to a disk I've had since Sarah McLachlan's Fumbling Towards Ecstasy debuted in my player a while ago. It's cocteau twinsish in a sense, but much much *prettier* and more *listenable* on first listen. Not as rough as cocteau twins is sometimes. Excellent, excellent, excellent. The best ethereal CD I've heard (and this is truly ethereal.) An absolute ecto-must-have. (mjmjminla@yahoo.com)

not as immediate as Ardor but still good. (cjmacs@micronet.net)

I have Idylls, which I like a lot. (neal)

Idylls is similar to Ardor but not as floating, more upbeat and percussive. While I like it, I still like Ardor best. (Marion)


Ardor

Release info:

1996—Projekt—51

Availability:

Wide in U.S.

Ecto priority:

Essential for lovers of ethereal music

Group members:

Ryan Lum—guitar, bass, keyboard, sampling & programming, vocal arrangements, lyrics, engineering
Suzanne Perry—vocals, lyrics

Guest artists:

Jennifer Ryan Fuller—vocals, lyrics

Produced by:

Ryan Lum

Comments:

This is just beautiful. Dark, melodic, floating.... At some points the music is more Cocteau Twins than the Cocteau Twins themselves (I keep hearing bits from Treasure and Victorialand on this CD), and the floating vocals are well, floatingly beautiful. Angelic? (Marion)

i have both of their first two albums, and would strongly advocate both. however, if you have to choose, i think ardor is a bit better. both are really pretty, but i think it has both a darker and a richer sound. (clsriram@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)


Ever

Release info:

1996—Projekt—71

Availability:

Wide in U.S.

Ecto priority:

For those who liked the earlier albums

Group members:

Ryan Lum—guitar, bass, keyboard, sampling & programming, vocal arrangements, lyrics, engineering
Suzanne Perry—vocals, lyrics

Guest artists:

Produced by:

Ryan Lum

Comments:

It is quite good, though it doesn't really measure up to their 2 earlier releases. it is pretty and ethereal and all that, but there are some songs where the electronic/ambient aspect is a little too heavy and doesn't really go with the overriding style. it is decent, but no particular songs stick with me as yet. (clsriram@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)

flux

Release info:

1998—Projekt—85

Availability:

Wide in U.S.

Ecto priority:

For lovers of ethereal pop/rock

Group members:

Ryan Lum—guitar, bass, keyboard, sampling & programming, vocal arrangements, lyrics, engineering, production
Suzanne Perry—vocals, lyrics

Guests artists:

Kristen Perry-Gow—vocals, lyrics
Jennifer Ryan Fuller—vocals
Rodney Rodriguez—nylon string guitar

Produced by:

Ryan Lum

Comments:

Interesting—this is a little rockier than their previous work. It still sounds very much like their earlier work, but a little more foreground-sounding. Suzanne Perry's voice is still stunning, and Ryan Lum's music still dreamy but overall the sound is a touch more lively. For some reason this just doesn't seem as compelling as their earlier work. Still, it is lovely. (Neile)

i had seen some of the blurbs for this record which sang high praises, which, i guess, got my expectations up. it's not a *bad* record, but ethereal vocals over shimmery guitars and a drum machine aren't *that* novel and some songs don't really click. maybe i'm more turned off by the hype than by the record. hmmm. (woj@smoe.org)


Temporal

Release info:

2000—Projekt—Projekt 97

Availability:

Wide in U.S.

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Ryan Lum—guitar, bass, keyboard, sampling & programming, vocal arrangements, lyrics, engineering, production
Suzanne Perry—vocals, lyrics

Guest artists:

Kristen Perry-Gow—vocals, lyrics Jennifer Ryan Fuller—vocals, lyrics Rodney Rodriguez—nylon string guitar Jeff Stone—congas, shakers Doron Orenstein—saxophone

Produced by:

Ryan Lum

Comments:

This is subtitled "a collection of music past & present." It consists of 7 previously released tracks from their earlier albums, as well as 6 tracks "previously unavailable on any love spirals downwards album", of these, 2 are remixes, 1 is a live track, and 3 are rarities from singles and samplers. A good introduction to their work, or an extension of their catalogue for fans. (Neile)

Further info:

Compilations Love Spirals Downwards has contributed to:
  • From Across This Gray Land No.3 Projekt Records (1992)
  • Heavenly Voices Hyperium Records (1993)
  • Of These Reminders Projekt Records (1995)
  • Beneath the Icy Floe Vol. 3 Projekt Records (1995)
  • Excelsis (v.1): A Dark Noel Projekt Records (1995)
  • Beneath the Icy Floe Vol. 4 Projekt Records (1996)
  • Beneath the Icy Floe Vol. 5 Projekt Records (1997)
  • Beneath the Icy Floe Vol. 6 Projekt Records (1998)
  • Claire Voyant—Time Again Accession Records (2000)
  • Projekt 100: The Early Years, 1985 to 1995 Projekt Records (2000)
  • Darkwave: Music of the Shadows v2 K-Tel (2000)
  • Within This Infinite Ocean... Projekt Records (2001)

Email info@lovespirals.com


Thanks for Brian Bloom and Andrew Fries for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2017-12-16 13:53:35.
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