Michael Toland reviews “Windblown Kiss”
The first word that comes to mind on hearing Lovespirals’ Windblown Kiss is sultry. Singer Anji Bee has a seductive coo in her full-bodied voice that immediately catches the ear and stirs the blood; instrumentalist Ryan Lum knows exactly how to frame it with lush guitars, tasteful keyboards and rhythms that draw from jazz and bossa nova as much as rock and pop.
An outgrowth of the Gothic dreampop band, Love Spirals Downwards, Lovespirals cast aside much of the previous incarnation’s psychedelic gloom while retaining its romantic angst. The airy arrangements and acoustic guitars put a new spin on the kind of emotional claustrophobia at which LSD was so adept.
“And it’s oh so long to wait/I lack the patience/Give me strength” Bee sighs in “Oh So Long” as she waits to be reunited with her lover; “Swollen Sea” and “I Can’t See You” also look for beauty in the pain of lost love. But Bee and Lum don’t forget joy: “Our Nights,” “He Calls Me” (which adds an overt spiritual dimension to the proceedings) and the title tune celebrate love instead of dreading it.
Interestingly, Lum and Bee invite guitarist/songwriter Sean Bowley from Eden to contribute vocals and lyrics to two cuts; the results are strong Gothic folk/pop songs, but they don’t fit with the rest of the record. Still, those songs don’t detract from an otherwise consistently beautiful treatise on romantic expression.
For fans of: the Cardigans, Cousteau, Everything But the Girl
Just got off the phone with Bryan. Boy oh boy, did Ryan and I TALK! We were so impressed by how well Bryan had done his research; he seemed to know a lot about us. We just blabbed and blabbed… I think I had a little too much coffee beforehand. I bet you can hear me slurping it down over the phone, too — heh heh.
Its really cool that Bryan’s going to send me a mini disc of the interview, so I can edit a chunk out and put it up on our mp3.com page. I love doing stuff like that! I haven’t had anything new to include on our page in awhile, either, so this will give folks a reason to visit that site again.
I think I’m addicted to providing Internet content…
New reviews of Windblown Kiss appear on
the All Music
Guide (“A fascinating and beautiful new path
Well, the album reviews are trickling in now. Now I have a few for Projekt to send on over to Borders, in order to convince them to grant us a listening booth for the release. Projekt had no problem in the past getting listening booths set up, but apparently now Borders are clamping down on the more obscure artists, like us. Bah! Those booths actually brought in a lot of the new listeners for Flux, and I definitely think they could do the same for Windblown Kiss.
On Saturday, July 6th, “The Witching Hours” will
present an interview with Ryan and Anji discussing
Lovespirals’ new release, Windblown Kiss. “The
Witching Hours” airs from 10PM – 1 AM PST (Midnight – 3 AM EDT) on 88.7 WRSU FM, in New Jersey,
and can also be heard over the web at http://wrsu.rutgers.edu/.
MusicTap.com is currently featuring a glowing review of Windblown
Kiss by Matt Rowe, who said, “I was swept away on echoed guitar notes, carried through the ether of love and hope, deposited into the womb of affection.” [click link for full review]
Very interesting… 3 out of the 4 reviews we’ve received this week have called me “sultry”! That just happens to be one of my favorite words, too. I actually — I kid you not — made a fanzine called that a few years back. Never did more than 1 issue, and I only made enough copies for me and my friends, but it’s the thought that counts, right? Ryan hadn’t heard “sultry” in that context before… It’s kinda strange how it can be used to describe both sensuality and heated temperatures. You can have a sultry night, or a sultry stare. If you’re lucky, though, you’ll have both together.
Matt Rowe reviews “Windblown Kiss”
Ryan Lum, the mainstay of Lovespirals (formerly Love Spirals Downwards ), is in complete control of this band and its direction. Having flitted in and out of several styles without losing its base sound, Lovespirals comes to an extravagant and pleasing approach in their newest offering, Windblown Kiss. Suzanne Perry, the band’s former chanteuse, is missed but her disappearance is forgiven by the shockingly beautiful and sultry voice of Anji Bee. Windblown Kiss is a satisfying surprise offering from a band that stands out in an ever burgeoning sea of bands for all its gorgeous song arrangements.
This release, like sugar on our tongues, is a sweet indulgence. Every song features the erotically charged vocals of Anji Bee and the slowly building tension of Ryan Lum’s jazzed up and sexy instruments. From the flamenco tones of “Dejame” to the icy hot, night summer breezed, slow drip of “Our Nights”. “Our Nights” is a remembrance piece, a nostalgic stroll through the countryside of our memories to times when love and infatuation meant a dreamy walk in the nightlights of Paris . “He Calls Me” recounts the absolute joy of love& how it clouds yet reveals the irridescence and glory of passion.
“Swollen Sea” speaks of a love that is lost to an ever growing sea of lost loves, the shimmering sadness emanating likes heat waves from a boiling sun. The sheer magnitude of the solitary, after hours, soft push and plea to betrayed love that is “I Can’t See You” with the saxophone giving voice, pleading, pleading to make the departure easier than it is. A better than five minute tune, it engulfs you into its soul and swallows you. But& if you hang on for several minutes of silence, you become refreshed with a bluesy, demo-like tune that merrily intones, “You got me feeling down, you got me feeling so blue”.
The other songs are equally blessed and imbued with the engulfment of love and the sticky displeasure of separation. Ten songs in all with a bonus track buried deep in the afterglow of “I Can’t See You”. Wait a few minutes and it will show up. There are clearly several singles on this CD. My choice? The catchy and haunting “Our Nights “. But “You Girl” and “Dejame” are blissful and are wonderful selections as well. The booklet, a tri-fold six- pager, with photos, notes, credits and lyrics is done well. The photos are perfect, the lyrics readable and the overall package a pleasant acquisition. The production on the CD is clear and well recorded.
This album gives us the gift of remembering what once was good with love and anticipation. It encourages us and gives us hope that it can be that way again. I was swept away on echoed guitar notes, carried through the ether of love and hope, deposited into the womb of affection. And on that journey, I saw slightly swaying bodies, loosely holding onto their lovers; hearts joined to the timekeeping of drums until it was all the same beat. That is the impact of this CD, a soundtrack for what drives us to fall in love, what forms every lip to whisper, to moan. I cannot wait for the next contribution from Lovespirals.
Ryan and Anji …You Rule!! (4 stars)
Mistress McCutchan, editrix of Morbid Outlook online zine, has included reviews of both Windblown Kiss and our
Projekt Fest set in her latest editon . I love the look and feel of her site; very well organized and attractive! I recall the very beginnings of Morbid Outlook, long ago when it was press printed, black and white. I am so impressed by her longevity and level of perfection. Be sure to surf on over and take a look!