Sound is Lovv is a brand-new Shoegaze project from Los Angeles sprouting from a solo project of frontman Brad Watson, now being assisted by John Rockwell (guitar and backing vocals), Dario Grenados (bass), and Joel Murray on drums. Although overall , Sound is Lovv are more on the noisy/ powerful side of Shoegaze spectrum, they still manages to sound pretty dreamy. So, I thought, Dream-Noise would be a nice description for their sound. The band has released their debut EP “Shipwrecks” on October the 19th. It features, amongst others, contributions from former Smashing Pumpkins members Mike Byrne (drums) and Nicole Fiorentino (bass).
Brad Watson on the recording process:
“I wrote and recorded the songs at home on Garageband. I then took them to The Cave Studio in LA and recorded with drum loops, working with Josiah Mazzaschi. Next, I sent the tracks to Mike ( Byrne) where he recorded his parts at a studio in Portland. He played on all of the tracks except 1 and 7. If you can imagine these songs with only a drum loop behind them, it’s amazing how much they evolved once he was finished. Nicole ( Fiorentino) came in shortly after, initially to play bass on all the tracks, but ended up only playing on “Love FM” and singing backing vocals on the rest of the tracks. Since I don’t have much of a vocal range, her contributions really helped to round out that “wall of sound”, as I wanted the vocals to contribute just as much as the guitars.”
Shipwrecks kicks off with the appropriately named “These Waves…..” a dreamy intro that submerges us in waves of warm guitarchords; shimmering strings and angelic voices. Like a heavenly blend of “Sharron Apple” ( Airiel) and “You Only Live Twice” ( John Barry).
Brad: “Its basically an improvised instrumental I recorded one night at home and decided to put it on the EP because it felt fitting with the “water theme” of the record. It was fun because I used many guitar effects I don’t normally use when recording”
And Don’t Believe
The former dream is “brutally” awakened by the first heavy metal bars of “And Don’t Believe” which is pure powerful indierock with traces of the Foo Fighters, but keeps the subdued typical Shoegaze vocals neatly in the background which in a way is a shame because, as this track clearly shows, the vocals are one of their stronger points: there are beautiful layers of quickening harmonies, at times almost reminiscent of the Beach Boys.
Brad: “I “borrowed” from a few of my favorite artists when I wrote this. The lyric melody is from a Seal song. The main guitar riff I sort of copied from a Magnificent Bastards song, one of Scott Weiland’s solo projects in the 90s. And the drum patterns/rhythm was influenced by a Deftones song.”
Take me with You
The single “Take me with You“, as I said is “a waltzy 6/8 time piece, with layers of howling guitars, faraway mellotrons, subdued vocals and overtones of Siren-like cooings”
Brad: “My favorite track on the EP and the best representation of the band’s sound or what I was trying to go for. Nice pacing, just the right balance of guitar and synthy sounds. The chorus melody I ripped off from a Smokey Robinson and the Miracles song. Most of the songs on “Shipwrecks” are about wanting love or wanting love to be returned. This was one of the better articulated expressions of that sentiment.”
Not good enough for me
“Not Good Enough for Me” is dominated by some fierce, adrenalin- fuelled drumming , jangly breaks and, probably in an interesting background tale, that Brad, unfortunately, did not elaborate on….
“Channels” is (apart from the intro and outro) probably my favourite track: this stream of emotion flows and ripples along undulating flangers , then crashes and bursts like wild waves of guitar and drums until the storm passes and it ripples down and quietly evaporates …
The romantic “Love FM” seems to be everybody’s (else’s ) favourite track and yep, I hear some Pumpkins on here . Especially those Corgan-esque vocals. The message is clear: anyone out in the ether on the same “wave-length”?
Brad: “Another favorite track of mine. Simple language but to the point and very powerful. Keeping right along with the theme of yearning for someone else, even if you don’t have a vivid idea or image of who that person is. This song however is more about wanting to fall in love so bad, you’re mind sort of voluntarily does it for you out of psychological necessity.”
Go on forever….
“Go on forever……” is clearly the sequel to “These Waves…” (The ships have all sank.. and these waves go on forever…) and once more we find ourselves floating around in crystalline, oscillating waters that glitter with sunlight like liquid silver…..only this time in a 70’s vibe, including fuzzy Santana guitar, piercing strings, and psychedelic sound effects ala Stereolab. Brilliant!!! I wish these waves would go on forever… beats any rubbish new age relaxation stuff . Maybe a next Bond-theme album Brad?!