A good melody is a good melody. Good harmonies are good harmonies. Good arrangements are good arrangements. It doesn’t matter how you record them or what effects you put on top of them. Good music will find a way to shine through. When you listen to The Love Language’s self-titled debut you may notice the lo-fi approach to recording. You may notice that everything is a little fuzzy. But you’ll definitely notice that the songs are really, really good.
The Love Language didn’t start out as a band. The album is the brainchild of one man: Stu McLamb. He wrote, performed, recorded, and mixed everything on it. Stu was in a band called The Capulets when his life started to unravel. He was kicked out of the band, broke up with his girlfriend, then got drunk one night and woke up in solitary confinement. That got his attention. He got his life together and started recording songs on his 4-track.
Once he had an album’s worth of songs he started passing out CDs to his friends. One found its way into the hands of Sunday Music Spotlight alums The Rosebuds, and they called McLamb to open for them on tour. He said yes, then realized he would probably need an actual band to do that. So he rounded up some friends and hit the road.
I love everything about this song. I love the vocals. I love the arrangement. I love the sound of the drums. I love the production. It’s hard to believe one guy is responsible for all of them.
When I saw the title of this track I was immediately put off. Adding the two extra Xs to the end of the word is the type of gimmick typically reserved for an album’s filler tracks. But then I listened to it. It’s actually really, really good. McLamb has a knack for catchy melodies, and he’s a hell of an arranger.
“Nocturne”, live on KEXP