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Lovespirals


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Ethereal, ectronic pop

Status:

Most recent release, "Brother Against Brother" (single 2014); most recent full-length release, Future Past (2010)

See also:

Lovespirals official site

Lovespirals bandcamp site

The Ectophiles' Guide page for Love Spirals Downwards, Ryan Lum's previous band

Comparisons:

Love Spirals Downwards, Everything But The Girl, Lamb

Covers/own material:

Mainly original material, with a few covers here and there [see: "You Girl" on Windblown Kiss]

General comments:

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

Ryan Lum's Love Spirals Downwards has come a long way from its ethereal gothic roots. Gone are Suzanne Perry's wafting vocal glossolalia, the dark Cure-meets-Siouxsie basslines, and the Robin Guthrie guitar atmospherics. They have been replaced by the smooth-as-silk vocals of Anji Bee; the mysterious Eastern-flavor by dashes of flamenco, lounge, jazz and Brazilian pop, and even—gasp—mainstream pop. Of course, this transformation has been a long time coming. Lum has always pushed the envelope in atmospheric music, assimilating electronica, drums and bass alongside such core foundations as folk and shoegazer into the mix. The last Love Spirals Downwards album, Flux, was a successful mix of Massive Attack-style songs and gentle breakbeats, not unlike those heard on the Six Degrees label. This new incarnation, though, seems to model itself after the sophisticated pop of Everything But the Girl, once and for all ditching the Cocteau Twins blueprint that has dogged the band since its humble beginnings. (ethereal_lad@livejournal.com)

Recommended first album:

Any

Recordings:


Windblown Kiss

Release info:

2002—Projekt Records

Availability:

Wide in U.S.

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Ryan Lum
Anji Bee

Guest artists:

Sean Bowley (Eden)
Doron Orenstein (Frescoe)—saxophone

Produced by:

Ryan Lum

Comments:

Opener "Oh So Long," with its late-night sax and Bee's torchy vocal is as far from a Projekt-sound as you can imagine. It's not until "He Calls Me" comes on that you recognize some of Lum's mainstays; shimmering guitars, an uncomplicated melody, and sweet female harmonies. Bee's touch, in addition to her voice, are lyrics that avoid Perry's obscurantist bent. "He Calls Me" is about as mystical as it gets. The thematic blending of the divine and the sexual recalls Lamb's "Gabriel." "Windblown Kiss," and the cover of the America song, "You Girl," flirt with—but never become—innocuous soft rock; interesting chord structures and complex harmonies forestall this. The conga-driven "Our Nights" is frothy and light like a frozen daiquiri, with bluesy guitar fills. Astrid Gilberto and the Captain and Tenille come to mind. It has the breezy feel of a tropical classic. Two songs are collaborations with Eden's Sean Bowley: "How the Thieves Ride," and "You are the Gun." With Bowley's Peter Murphy-meets Brendan Perry baritone and ponderous folk balladry, they are out of place on this collection. Good songs, but they break up the flow. A nod to the old Love Spirals Downwards is present in the dulcimer-driven nocturnal "Swollen Sea," with Bee sounding her most Suzanne Perry-like. With its slick production, and pleasant sounds, Windblown Kiss mostly succeeds in creating a moody make-out album. (ethereal_lad@livejournal.com)

Long Way From Home

Release info:

2007—Chillcuts—6CHL0701f

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Anji Bee—vocals
Ryan Lum—instruments

Comments:

The third Lovespirals album has an organic, really well-developed sound and Anji Bee's sensuous voice is in full bloom. "Caught in the Groove" is a languid, soft song that's as pleasant as a lazy summer day. The resigned words add some tension to it. "Once in a Blue moon" is dreamy and bluesy, Lum's guitar playing is great here. "Motherless Child" is a version of the oft-covered standard that works very well. Lovsepirals have made an impeccable album. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)

On their new album, Lovespirals have shed house/light electronica influence and created a fairly straightforward work. They mix folk, blues, and jazz into their Brill Building pop sound, even adding a little country. The guitar playing is polished and confident; Ryan Lum has ditched the distortion and flanged guitar sound that was the hallmark of the earlier incarnation of the band (Love Spirals Downwards). The occasional bluesy lick finds its way into these mostly mellow songs. The production is crisp and clear, and the dreaminess both Love Spirals Downwards and Lovespirals are know for comes from the song structures and performances, rather than reverb-drenched studio tricks.
     Anji Bee has a lovely voice; it's a big, emotive soprano that's comfortable singing jazz standards, classic pop and "Quiet Storm" r & b, with an indie edge. Like Tracey Thorn, Bee juxtaposes smooth, torchy singing with introspective singer-songwriter confessionals. Her words here capture the Romantic Doldrums perfectly. Most of the songs are filled with resignation, such as the wonderful opener "Caught In The Groove." Other songs, such as "Treading Water" and "Lazy Love Days" examine relationships with diamond-sharp accuracy. There's hard won wisdom here that's mature. Songs outside the cycle include a version of the standard "Motherless Child" and the Mazzy Star meets Dionne Warwick hybrid tunes "Sundrenched" and "Nocturnal Haze."
     Long Way From Home has many of the qualities of classic singer-songwriter albums. Lovespirals adds their brand of special dreaminess to the recipe. (ethereal_lad@livejournal.com)


Further info:

Compilations Lovespirals has contributed to:
  • Chill-Out in the City Water Music (2001)
  • Chill-Out Lounge (v. 2) Water Music (2001)
  • Excelsis 3: A Prelude Projekt Records (2001)
  • Cool Terrasse CH Musiq (2002)

Email info @ lovespirals . com


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Entry last updated 2015-04-17 23:24:09.
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