I first heard about North Carolina band, The Love Language, back in 2009, when they released their self-titled debut record. A seven-piece back then when I first discovered them, my initial impression of the band based solely on press photos before hearing any of their music was that they were one of those several Arcade Fire-style bands with big flowing memberships and handy use of multiple instrumentation and orchestration. Turns out I was quite wrong.
The Love Language is actually the very personal work of one person Stuart McLamb. Their debut record was recorded and played by McLamb himself in his own bedroom. With an ear for jangly guitars and melodic hooks, McLamb has crafted a record that is built within a hissy, lo-fi environment but demands to be expanded upon by a bigger band to capture its outsize essence, hence his touring companions.
With his newest and third record overall Ruby Red, McLamb has moved away from his bedroom recordings and onto the proper confines of a recording studio (the eponymous Ruby Red). Recording in a studio was a process that the band started during their second album Libraries. However, with Ruby Red, McLamb and his producing engineer BJ Burton decided to go beyond a single studio. From Ruby Red, McLamb and Burton moved across to different areas across different time zones, working with over twenty musicians throughout the process. This larger and larger growth reflects the boundlessness of McLamb’s musicianship. What it doesn’t hide though is the constant fuzziness and personal closeness within that are McLamb’s marks.
Stream singles Calm Down and Pilot Light embedded below.
The Love Language – Ruby Red comes out 7/23 via Merge (order here)