Friday 27 November 2015

Library Voices - Lovish

Article by KevW

Perhaps due to having so many band members (there were originally ten, but they've now slimmed down to a mere seven) is what has made Canadian collective Library Voices reasonably eclectic. Most of their output would fall into the indie/alt-rock category, but they flit between garage-rock, shoegaze, alt-country, post-punk, indiepop, new-wave, dreampop and more ordained alt-rock, plus more besides. New album 'Lovish' is a perfect example of how the septet make all of this work together to form a cohesive and incredibly assured and consistent listening experience.

Single 'Oh Donna' gets things underway with a little bombast, changing tempos, excellent musicianship and equally great production. It's smooth and considered and sinks in right away, making it a perfect opening gambit, before the misty 'Sunburnt In LA' combines an '80s feel with the sound of more recent North American indie bands and is a propulsive number that is equally as appealing. Then we hit the scratchy post-punk of 'Slacker' which underlines their adaptability, using distortion on the vocals and a simple riff to great effect. Three songs in and already they've shown this chameleon-like ability. 'Zzyzx' is perhaps closer in sound to 'Oh Donna' and brings back a bit more bombast thanks to some horns that give an almost Springsteen-esque vibe at times, but the vocals ensure that you could never get the two mixed up. And it's unlikely you'd find The Boss referencing 'Marquee Moon' on one of his songs...

We're then into indiepop territory with the lovable jangle of 'Hey! Adrienne'. By this point it's dawned on you that Library Voices don't really do "album tracks". Pretty much every song on 'Lovish' could be a potential single, even tender, lovelorn slowie 'The Wild Roar Of Love', which may not at first seem the most upbeat and radio-friendly, is easy on the ear. There's an electronic, new-wave side to 'Escape Artist' - no trick is repeated twice but at the same time the difference isn't so great as to become incohesive, and this is the key to this LP's success. 'Fangs Of Love' is a curious beast, combining classic '60s rock with the fuzz of shoegaze, a decent brass section and a glam stomp. It's not always necessary to mention each song when reviewing a record, but this is something of an exception. 'Death By Small Talk' is perhaps the most alternative and psychedelic song of the lot, but it's still a fusion of ideas and styles; it's maybe less instant too, but your taste buds are soon tingling again with the punky pace installed in 'Bored In Berlin' which is a bit like The War On Drugs after too much Ritalin. Library Voices are even kind enough to supply us with an epic, experimental last track in the form of 'Every Night' which begins with Byrdsy guitars and a military beat before evolving into an expansive, brooding number ending with a psychedelic wig-out and the hiss of static electricity. There can be no doubt that 'Lovish' is a good job well done.

Library Voices' website

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