Meet Sound Is Lovv, the new Los Angeles based 4-piece band born out of singer/guitarist Brad Watson’s solo project. Also comprised of John Rockwell (guitar and backing vocals), Dario Grenados (bass), and Joel Murray (drums), the band classifies their sound as Heavy Shoegaze, comparable to the likes of Nothing and Beach Slang, with flavours of 80’s and 90’s Alternative.
Their 7-track debut EP Shipwrecks, released on October 18th, features Mike Byrne and Nicole Fiorentino of Smashing Pumpkins fame and was mastered by Heba Kadry, the same woman responsible for the dense textures of Nothing’s “Guilty Of Everything”.
Shipwrecks opens with the aptly named instrumental “Waves…”, an aquatic wash of ethereal sound that evokes the feeling of floating suspended underwater while seahorses drift by and schools of colourful fish reflect sunlight piercing the surface. The hypnosis is quickly broken when the urgent drumming and sludgy guitars of “And Don’t Believe” kick in. Here, the first taste of 90’s Alternative influence is enjoyed as the song has a definite Smashing Pumpkins flavour, yet is still fresh.
Sound Is Lovv goes back to the beach with “Take Me With You”, a breezy musical daydream rich with melodic transitions and crescendos. It’s a beautiful song that manages to hide much of its percussive urgency behind a veil of vocal tranquility. “Not Good Enough” leaves Dream Pop behind and pushes into the heavier side of Shoegaze. It features some gorgeously lush guitar layers driven by more of the unrelenting, but fitting, percussion that is signature of the band’s sound.
“Channels” builds off the momentum of “Not Good Enough” and grows into an absolutely massive wall of bass, guitar, and vocals before dropping off and fading out with delicate strums, keys, and drums. It’s here that “Love FM” takes over, and wins my vote for best song off the EP. It reverberates the same moody flow of Nothing’s “Endlessly”, which not by coincidence, is my favourite track off Guilty Of Everything, and exudes more of the early Pumpkin’s sound that made them shine.
Back under the waves and swimming with dolphins. The instrumental outro track “…Go On Forever” is the perfect companion piece to opener “These Waves…”. I relax, feel my blood pressure normalize and I fade away. The waves do go on forever. Then I listen to Shipwrecks again, because a single play-through is just not enough.