It's like riding high through the Blue Ridge Mountains in the passenger seat with your window down - hand waving gently in the breeze, volume turned all the way up, stoned as a bat, in the passenger seat so you can close your eyes. Or maybe its like the first step onto the sand before you take off running into the ocean - can never tell if the sea will be warm or cold, welcoming or be damned, get out!
That may in fact be more accurate as The Love Language's latest album Libraries was written entirely in Wilmington, NC - a beach town like no other. Though, in its defense, (I guess that's right?), mixed and recorded in Raleigh, NC during the great blizzard of 2010. Phew, what a conundrum!
Think back to 2009 when the romance of warm sunny days and long walks on the beach were both long gone and yet to be discovered by the time Stuart McLamb recorded the debut self-titled album The Love Language, an album based on heartbroken letters to his ex. Don't be fooled by this claim alone though, as what some would call the actual debut, or maybe just the intentional debut through Merge Records, Libraries doesn't stray from the same tender tenor. The Love Language manages to be one of the few bands to truly hold their name up to the fame of their sound. And I don't mean that as a sappy insult to the somehow both despairing and delectable anguish expressed in McLamb's lyrics. The band is fucking phenomenal. Between BJ's ability to rope it all in while managing to play second lead guitar, and Stuart's own brother Jordan providing drum sound and solidly on-time back-up vocals, the band can't go wrong. I think I originally called it "high drums, long guitar riffs, complex backing between brothers and best friends". Well, then you add Justin on bass and the one and only Missy Thangs on keys - shooo - color me lovestruck.
Sounds like a bunch of bitter, overrated nonsense, huh? Well, trust me, it's not. All that stuff I said about plunging head first into the ocean and driving around with the windows down... I meant it. The Love Language is all about wearing white instead of black, throwing sparks at night, paying for your mistakes and moving the fuck on. Not to mention, they are wholly attractive to watch perform. So much so that wishing for true love for someone other than yourself, but not necessarily with yourself, is a completely unselfish act, and one that most fans of love ballad bands cannot conceivably accomplish. Who could ever break that heart, one would ask! But, even with my slight obsession with musicians, I could imagine the serial strumming and tattered van-touring might wear on any love interest... though, as long as there are Summer album releases and hopeful forlorn listeners abound, The Love Language will have no trouble finding an audience.
I, for one, am both hopeful and forlorn, so count me in.