Internet radio station, Gothic Paradise, published a review of our 2010 album, Future Past, on their website. After a decade, Lovespirals have reconnected with this active source of music and information for the Gothic/Industrial/EBM/Ethereal communities, leading to the band being reinstated on their webzine, as well as having songs added into their show playlist.
Check out the Lovespirals band page on Gothic Paradise which includes a general bio and commentary on the band, plus reviews of both our first album, Windblown Kiss, and our most recent album, Future Past.
Below is the full review of Future Past by site founder, Jacob Bogedahl:
It has been ten years since we reviewed Windlbown Kiss here on Gothic Paradise. Though this latest album was released a couple of years ago at the time of this writing, it’s good to go back and review it as we reintroduce this band to the pages of Gothic Paradise. It comes with eleven dreamy, downtempo pop pieces, exploring some diverse genres and hearkening back to the jazz sounds of years past.
As I’ve listened to this album over and over again to come up with a good description, one word keeps popping into my head and it’s one I’ve overused with the description of this duo and that’s “Jazzy”. Though there is a lot at play here, the prominent instruments are definitely a jazz guitar and/or electric piano coupled with Anji’s smooth vocals. The result is a very chilled out jazzy, downtempo pop sound. This is portrayed across all the smooth tracks starting with “Home” which comes out as a sentimental piece that any of us can relate to after being away from home for a while. The sultry, soft vocals take on deeper feeling across various pieces including the moodier tracks “Rain” and “One of Those Days”.
As we get about halfway through the album, a vibrant electronica style comes out on “Love” which actually brings back feelings of the early styles from this duo as well as just a touch of ethereal that fans should really love. Another dreamy highlight comes a bit later with “Meanwhile, Irreplaceable Time Flees”. This heavily ambient instrumental piece drifts along with some excellent guitar work keeping it grounded in the jazz style and dreamy moods. The regular tracks on the album wrap up with “Sinking” and “Believe” remaining on par with the rest of the album, as you listen to each track you can detect the common instruments and tempo which creates a homogenous style and mood that slowly drifts along with a soft groove. There are a couple of demos and a live piece as bonus material that die-hard fans will enjoy and with that it comes to a close.
There you have it, overall the band has really rooted themselves in a solid jazz-infused chillout pop style. We’ve seen the music transform slightly over the years as they’ve grown and explored their own styles and tastes. One thing seems sure, they seem to really be enjoying themselves over the years and with their music and that is the one thing I can highly recommend to any artist.
Its always lovely to get good press, no matter how late or how obscure. California blogger, Terry Majamaki, has included Lovespirals in his Top 10 Music Albums of 2011, alongside Low, Thievery Corporation, Moby, Coldplay, Beastie Boys, and more.
Lovespirals – Future Past (Chillcuts 2010)
While this album was released in 2010, I discovered the album, and the band, this year. As a long time fan of the band Love Spirals Downward, who stopped producing new material in 1998, I had no idea that lead instrumentalist Ryan Lum made a new band with vocalist Anji Bee and released new music under the name Lovespirals. After discovering this I picked up 3 Lovespirals albums spanning the last decade, including; Windblown Kiss (2002), Long Way From Home (2007), and Future Past (2010).
For me, Future Past, is the strongest of the albums and it really stuck with me throughout the year. The music style is a little less etherial and dark when compared to Love Spirals Downward, instead it is more acoustic with subtle downtempo electronica that creates a dreamy pop soundscape. Soft hypnotic melodies with dreamy vocals in every song always puts me in a good mellow mood. Ryan even pays homage to Pink Floyd’s guitar intro from Shine on You Crazy Diamond with Meanwhile, Irreplaceable Time Flies. While I would love to hear a new Love Spirals Downward album, I don’t expect it to happen, however I do look forward to hearing what Lovespirals releases next.
To our great surprise, Gothic Beauty included a review of Lovespirals’ 2010 album, Future Past, in the latest issue of their 80 page glossy color magazine. Gothic Beauty Issue 33 is available now at Barnes & Noble, Borders, Hastings, Chapters, Walden Books, Book World, Sheltam Books and Copperfield’s Books – or directly via gothicbeauty.com.
Reviewer Michael writes, in part:
“This album is designed for chill atmospheres. It reminds me of late nights at the bar and a jukebox loaded with good music. The song “Rain” is not to be missed — I’ve fallen in love with the song and want to have the song’s babies.”
Below is a scan of the full review:
Matt Rowe of MusicTap recently interviewed Anji Bee for a feature on the newly revamped music site. Entitled, Quality Time With Anji Bee of Lovespirals and Chillcast, the piece goes into some depth about Anji’s thoughts on the current state of music while looking into the origins of her Chillcuts Digital label, the creation of her new The Chillcast with Anji Bee: 5 Years of Chillin’ compilation, and how she selects music for her weekly podcast, The Chillcast with Anji Bee.
Matt has been a long time supporter of Anji’s band, Lovespirals. He featured the duo in 2006 with his MusicTap piece, Honey and Cool Jazz ‘n’ Rock: An Interview with Ryan Lum and Anji Bee of Lovespirals.
Here’s just an excerpt from the interview:
Music has gone through so many changes over the decades. Do you feel that this generation of music provides enough in styles to help those caught in a decade of preference?
First of all, what people need to realize is that there is a whole world of music that is not being played on the radio or TV. I get all the music I can handle and then some strictly from the Internet. And the variety of music available on the Internet is more vast that you can even imagine. Its truly staggering how much great music is out there when you start searching for it.
What do you look for in a band that sends music across your desk? What do you listen for?
The music needs to strike certain chords for me; I want to feel it in my gut. It could be a tear jerking lyric/vocal, or it could be a booty-shaking bassline/groove. It could be a gorgeous melody played on keyboard or guitar, or an amazing vocal harmony. It could simply be a really sweet string pad or a sitar hook — who knows? But I think there’s generally an element of authenticity in expression that I’m seeking. That’s what is wholly missing in the pop music industry. I want to feel what the artist was feeling when they were creating the song. I need to be drawn into that little world and feel immersed in it. Hearing a really sincere song is a bit like falling in love for me. Obviously not every song on the show can have that strong of an impact on me, but the more of them I can find and string together for a set, the better the show is.
What needs to change as we move forward into an uncharted world of music?
From my perspective, I’d say what needs to change is the perception of music listeners. The major labels have been attempting to convince people that the only music of importance is the stuff that they push down our throats via their multi-media corporate conglomerates. They’d like everyone to believe that all independent music on the Internet is just crap created by half-assed noobs playing around with free software. But that is simply not the case at all. If you put some time into music discovery online, you’ll find a whole new world of incredible music just waiting for you!
<a href=”http://anjibee.bandcamp.com/album/5-years-of-chillin-compilation” _mce_href=”http://anjibee.bandcamp.com/album/5-years-of-chillin-compilation”>5 Years of Chillin’ by Anji Bee</a>
Come enter Sony’s ACID Planet remix contest for Lovespirals! Remix the duo’s song, “Feel So Good,” from the 2010 album, Future Past. Download a zip file with a folder of official song stems including Anji Bee‘s main and backing vocals (both dry and with Leslie Rotary Speaker effect) and Ryan Lum‘s phased electric guitar, Fender P bassline, and Hammond organ line, plus a folder of 20 Sony bonus loops consisting of “Organ Donor” organ lines and “What Is It” basslines. Sony is also offering a free download of ACID Express which contestants can use to create a remix if they like. One grand prize winner will receive a copy of ACID Pro, 5 ACID loop libraries and all 4 Lovespirals albums on CD, plus the opportunity to be included on a new remix single for “Feel So Good.” Get started now, you’ve got until December 28th to enter!
Buy “Feel So Good” from Future Past on iTunes
National Public Radio is in the midst of a radio series called, “Hey Ladies: Being A Musician Today,” using research gathered from questionnaires answered by hundreds of women working as musicians and/or vocalists today. Additionally, they are publishing solid articles on their music blog, The Record: Music News from NPR. In the latest installment, “Pop Star Pomp, Real World Circumstance“, writer Frankie Kelly includes a quote by Anji:
But some say they’re annoyed by what they see as attention-grabbing antics. Do pop stars’ constructions (be they costumes or stage sets) put pressure on less well-funded women musicians to be outrageous, to get more naked or cross more lines just to get noticed?
Anji Bee, Lovespirals: From my perspective, the most important thing is to develop a strong internet presence that includes quality audio, video, and photos. The more professional you come across, the more likely people are to take you seriously. I personally wouldn’t rely on gimmicks to get attention, but that seems to be working out for Lady Gaga, so who am I to say anything against it?
For the record, the question she was answering was: “What advice would you give to a woman musician just starting out?” You can read all of Anji’s responses to the NPR Hey Ladies questionnaire.
This is a great series which includes many fantastic female artists so we highly recommend you check it out!
Check out Lovespirals on MixCloud for a great collection of streaming audio interviews, radio features, and DJ mixes from the band’s vault. Included in the set thus far is the first-ever interview with Ryan and Anji by Sean Flinn for the short-lived RadioSpy site from 2000, Lovespirals first in-studio radio interview with DJ Carolee of A Strange Choice of Favorites on KPSU in Portland, OR in 2002, Anji’s first international phone-in interview with Iohann Rashi of Frequencias Alternas on Radio Universidad de Puerto Rico from 2002, as well as parts 1 and 2 of an Anji Bee DJ set for the show Glissando – also on Radio Universidad – from 2002, and another radio interview with Anji Bee from 2002 by Tom Schulte for the Outsight Radio Hours. More audio programs will be added as we locate them, so please check back again later. If you enjoy the shows, be sure to post them to your Twitter, Facebook, Digg, or StumbleUpon accounts via the site’s handy “share” function or embed the audio directly onto your own sites with their cool widgets, like these:
All Music Guide posted a positive review of Lovespirals’ new album, Future Past, which reads, in part:
The combined approaches of Bee and Lum have created what is essentially a slinky soul album for the 21st century. One senses on songs like “Home” and “Sinking” that Bee and Lum have found a lovely balance between shoegaze’s love of reverb and texture and the richness of ’70s quiet storm at its best. “Shine,” with its build into a multi-tracked harmony from Bee and a gently majestic guitar part from Lum, and the similarly slow-burning “One of Those Days” are among the best standouts for the two as a team in perfect sync. – Ned Ragett
Read the entire review on Lovespirals All Music Guide page.
Chris of the Chillout Scene just gave Lovespirals new album, Future Past, a very positive review this week. The US-based blog is centered around the music and culture of the Chillout genre, including new album reviews, favorite YouTube videos, recent finds from music discovery services including Last.FM, Pandora, Blip.FM, and LaLa, as well as suggestions for Internet radio and podcasts. Chris also maintains a Chillout Scene Facebook page and Chillout Scene Twitter account (mirrors of each other) you can follow to keep up with site updates and cool daily music suggestions, as well.
After giving a breakdown of his favorite tracks (“Home,” “Love,” “Meanwhile Irreplaceable Time Flees/Insignificant,” and “Sinking”,) Chris sums up his thoughts on the album:
Overall, I really like Lovespirals’ sound on this album, especially since it is similar to one of my favorite chillout artists, Zero 7. I think Ryan’s bluesy guitar playing is what makes them unique and makes them even more interesting than Zero 7 since they don’t just stick to acoustic guitar parts and electronic drum and bass tracks. Anji’s vocals also set Lovespirals apart from other artists as even the quieter parts are nice and smooth, rather than whispery. She makes her voice appear so delicate that it could fade away if any quieter, but it remains nice, smooth, and chill. Check out Future Past right away HERE.…I highly recommend it!