Thursday, May 9, 2013

Ears to the Ground: "Calm Down" by The Love Language

The Love Language's new album, Ruby Red will be
released on July 23 on Merge Records
Fans of the North Carolina music scene are most likely already familiar with The Love Language, the brainchild of Stu McLamb.  Their debut full-length wowed listeners with lo-fi bedroom pop that was crafted in a grandiose manner.  Crackles and hisses couldn't quell the mighty presence of McLambs vocals and the band quickly picked up steam, signing to Merge Records for their 2010 follow-up Libraries.  While their self-titled record gained them local notoriety, the shimmering summer sounds of Libraries gave the group national attention.

Stu McLamb wears his heart on his sleeve in these albums, the songs pour out like a late night heart-to-heart with an old friend.  The raw grit and intensity of their lo-fi debut has blossomed into fully fleshed out anthems of heart-ache and nostalgia.  The Love Language has since gone on to perform at festivals like Coachella and most recently debuted a brand new track from their upcoming full-length Ruby Red on Pitchfork.

"Calm Down" is driven by snappy percussion and sharp basslines, coated in McLamb's reverb washed vocals.  The sonic progression in this band continues, expanding upon the strong foundation set forth by their previous efforts.  "Calm Down" bursts into an explosive chorus of rich textures and powerful melodies, and the rest of Ruby Red feels quite similar.  I got to listen to the test pressing as I was interning at Merge last week and must say that the group has continued to grow stronger, the songs are crisp and full of energy while maintaining a balance between slow-churners and faster songs of summer.  The album's closer is capped with a robust string arrangement, further solidifying the expansion of this already sonically immense group.

Ruby Red won't be released until July 23 but you can hear "Calm Down" below.  Also check out the video we shot at Hopscotch 2011 of the group performing a cover of Diana Ross and The Supreme's "My World Is Empty Without You":

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