Lovespirals’ 4th full-length album, Future Past, was just released this week on the iTunes Music Store. Individual songs are available in non-DRM 256k AAC for just $.99 each or buy the full album for $9.99. The band offered Future Past digipac CDs and digital downloads over the holiday season exclusively on the Lovespirals Webstore, but the official album release date is January 1, 2010. Popular online music store, CDBaby, is also offering Future Past in both CD and digital download formats. More stores will be following soon.
Reactions thus far have been extremely positive, with many fans claiming Future Past to be Lovespirals’ best album to date. Even with the extremely limited holiday season release, some have included Future Past in their “best of 2009” lists, including Green Arrow Radio and several Last.FM bloggers:
Crap on a cracker, this album has gotten me so hooked, I can rarely pull away from it. Anji’s voice is like honey, very smooth. I was a bit concerned how the follow-up to “Long Way From Home” was going to sound, because it’s one of my favorite albums ever and very hard to surpass. But Anji and Ryan have done it. And how! – Escapings, Last.FM
Singer/songwriter, Beth Hirsch – who’s perhaps best known for her work with Air on their seminal Moon Safari album – has been extremely supportive, writing:
From the unforgettable chorus on “Shine,” to Anji Bee’s sultry vocal cadences on tracks such “Feels So Good”, “Love,” and “Rain”, to the stunning guitar riffs, Rhodes, and instrumentation by Ryan Lum on “Meanwhile, Irreplaceable Time Flees” and “One Of These Days,” Lovespirals’ latest CD, Future Past, is easily one of the best chillout albums to welcome in 2010. The album is sexy, moody, bluesy, ethereal – pure Lovespirals. — Beth Hirsch, CDBaby
Karmacoda frontman and producer, B, has shown his support as well. After attending an exclusive pre-release listening party, he had this to say:
Lovespirals combines seamless harmony and a relaxed tempo with guitar and synthesized instrumentals for a sound that is unique. ‘Future Past’ sounds both classic and yet completely new; it features the most compelling elements of seventies groups yet is completely rooted in today’s electronica/pop/alternative genres. — Brett Crockett
Anji and Ryan of Lovespirals would love to read your review of Future Past on iTunes!
Mr. G of Green Arrow Radio has been spinning several of Lovespirals latest songs, including “Home,” “Love,” and “Meanwhile, Irretrievable Time Flees/Insignificant”. Future Past also made the Green Arrow Radio Tops of 2009 list, ranking #33 out of his unconventional list of 97 albums. This free-form show features an eclectic array of artists with an emphasis on world music and underground talents that you are unlikely to hear anywhere else. Green Arrow Radio airs on 91.7fm WSUM in Madison, WI, Saturdays from 10 am to noon. You can also stream the Green Arrow Radio show — and indeed, the whole station — over the Internet via iTunes, Windows Media Player or WinAmp.
Mr. G wrote a fun and quirky review of Future Past on the Green Arrow Radio blog, which reads, in part:
The latest release from Lovespirals has me softly speaking to myself and smiling. The down tempo music and vocal temptations seduce the parts of my ears that are connected right to the part of my brain that produces happiness. Highlight on this album for me personally [is] “Meanwhile, Irreplaceable Time Flees” right into “Insignificant”… This is a classy album that I am so happy to share with others; I think it’ll find many compatible ear-mates out there.
Lovespirals first Future Past single, “Shine” has won the Garageband Reviewer’s Pick Award for Best Female Vocals in the Alternative Pop genre for this week. This is an ongoing contest judged by site users, primarily musicians who are also participating in the contest held by this unique i-Like owned music site. Songs are judged in an anonymous fashion, with the reviewer having no information about the track other than the soundfile itself until after they have rated it and posted their review comments. Kieran Moore of Ireland wrote, “Quite a haunting song. Nice mood with the Rhodes, and the female singer has a sexy voice which works really well when layered. Reminds me of the French band Air. Good sound, well done.” Visit Lovespirals page on Garageband to read all the reviews thus far, as well as to stream or download “Shine” for free. You can also check out more Lovespirals songs, including the multiple-award-winning “Love Survives,” which won Track of the Day and Track of Week twice each, and currently holds #16 Best Female Vocals of All Time in the Electronica Genre.
Matt Rowe penned a very positive review of Lovespirals’ latest release for the Music Tap site. It reads, in part:
I’ll say it now, Lovespirals is an undiscovered diamond, cut to a many-faceted perfection in their new album. Future Past is their masterpiece work to date. With Manzarek-like keyboards, a masterful bluesy guitar, and an angelic voice, the 11 tracks that you’ll find on this magnificent surprise are not to be missed.
He goes on to comment about the performances of Ryan and Anji individually, even encouraging the duo to pursue solo endeavors outside of Lovespirals. You’ll have to read the full review on Music Tap.
Hot new UK dance music label, Loverush Digital, is about to drop a “Damien.S VS Lovespirals” branded set of remixes of our single, “This Truth,” on February 9th. UK radio and club DJs, however, have already been spinning advanced copies the past few weeks. To our delight, the EP has been blazing up various club charts!
DMC is currently listing “This Truth” at #4 on the UK Club Chart and the World House Chart, #6 on the Club 2009 Test Chart, #10 for the UK Chart, World Commerical Chart, and World Chart plus #16 on the UK Monthly Chart and #18 on the World Monthly Chart.
We’re going up against some pretty steep competition from the likes of Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson, and being a spot ahead of “Single Ladies” on the UK Club is just insane and surreal…
[update: The single went on to reach #2 on the DMC World Trance Chart, #4 on the DMC World House Chart and #8 on the UK Music Week Club Charts!]
Support for the track has been great and we’re excited to be played on shows and stations including Housesssions with Denny Dowd on Juice FM, PH Factor on Energy FM, Club Control with DJ Confusion, and Twilight on Pulse. Reactions have been fantastic, as well. DJs are reporting lots of dancefloor love and even requests!
John McCormick (Deep 6, Fury Murrys, The Hive, Yates) 10/10
This has created one of the biggest buzzes on the floors I’ve seen in ages. Its an enormous winner and packs the floors everytime without fail. Superb mix package. Top stuff all round!
DJ Crispian Aldis (Elemental, Havanah, Paradise) 10/10
This is good and is causing quite a stir in my sets. Loads of fab mixes to choose from. Top track, top label. I can see big things for Loverush in 2009.
Beaker (Berties, Bunters, Divas, Red Square) 9/10
I love the feel to this track, she has such a haunting voice. You can’t help but hear it. It’s such a smooth chill out dance track that works really well.
John J (Club DNA, Liquid Lounge, Wigan Pier) 9/10
LOVIN THIS! Quality vocal trancer with a wicked package of mixers. Fave is Juno Synclair vs Craig Bailey Remix.
Austin Beeman graciously invited band vocalist, Anji Bee, to guest host a special episode of his new chillout music podcast. Music For Midnight Episode #13 is a spotlight on Lovespirals, and in particular, the many remixes of Lovespirals found on the Podsafe Music Network. Anji comments between tracks about how the various remixes came into being and how the band feel about remixes of their music. Austin closes out the show with his personal favorite remix, the awesome Karmacoda Remix of “Motherless Child.” Download show mp3 from iTunes
Stream Music for Midnight #13: Lovespirals Remixes
April 2, 2008: 100% PodSafe Edition, iProng Magazine Artist Feature
For someone who isn’t familiar with Lovespirals, how would you describe it to them?
We write and record all of our music together in our own home studio. As such, our music has a very intimate feel. Our sound doesn’t follow any particular genre model, instead, we play what we feel at the moment. We tend towards very melodic, bittersweet, and dreamy music that focuses on beautiful vocal harmonies and soulful guitar work, with liberal sprinklings of electric piano.
There’s always been a sort of tug of war in Lovespirals between jazzy electronica and folky rock. Each of our releases have come upon a different solution to this tension between the modern and vintage sides of our musical personalities. One the one hand, we both love the old vinyl albums we grew up with as kids, but on the other, we’re drawn to contemporary music and production techniques. The interesting thing about this is that while the casual listener assumes a song like “Caught in the Groove” from Long Way From Home was recorded with a full band, in actuality Ryan programmed the drums using a keyboard controller and samples, the piano is recorded with midi, and the guitars and bass were performed one track at a time in ProTools. The thing is, just because we’re using computer based recording techniques doesn’t mean our music has to sound like it was made with a computer, you know?
How did you end up being both a podsafe musician and a podcaster?
I started the Chillin’ with Lovespirals podcast back in June of 2005 to share information and music from our then-upcoming 2nd album, Free & Easy. I’d been itching to start a podcast for several months and it just seemed like a band podcast was the perfect project to start out with. I used to be a college DJ, and then I was an Internet DJ, so it was pretty no-brainer to become a podcaster! And we already had our own recording studio, so it just made a whole lot of sense.
How has podsafe music affected your career as a musician?
The podsafe music movement was really just a natural evolution of all the Internet promotions I’d been doing for the band since our inception in ’99. I just try a little of everything online to see what works and where the best music scene is, and go there. Podcasting is one more of those things.
How else do you promote your music?
One of the more exciting ways our music is promoted is via licensing to TV and cable. The first placement the band ever got was for a song called “Psyche” with guest vocalist, Kristen Perry, on Dawson’s Creek. “Psyche” is listed on iTunes as their most popular track, and I suspect we can contribute that to Dawson’s Creek in no small part. The second most popular LSD song on iTunes is the 1998 remix of “Sunset Bell,” which I’ve seen listed online as having been included on the show La Femme Nikita – even on Wikipedia – though we were never contacted about that. Lovespirals’ music has been included on multiple shows for MTV and VH1 as well as E!, WE, A&E, HGTV, Travel Channel, and lots of others. I think Oprah was probably the most fun inclusion on TV. We’ve also been on some DVDs. No films or commercials yet, but hopefully soon.
Do Lovespirals have any tour plans?
The past year or two we haven’t gotten out to play many live shows. We’ve found that the amount of time and effort it takes to organize and prepare for shows and tours is too draining. Honestly, we would rather be writing and recording new music than revisiting our past works. I guess you could say we are more like recording artists than performing artists. But as someone who enjoys live music, I understand the fans interest in seeing us perform. So for this album we decided to try something new. The weekend of our album release, we performed in Second Life on PodShow Island. It turned out to be a really cool event that was simulcast via multiple audio streams to 760 listeners in the US, UK, and Europe in addition to the maxed out sim in Second Life. So that was really exciting. And then we took the recorded audio and released it as an episode of our podcast which has had about 12,000 requests. Would we get that many folks at a gig in LA? Probably not.
Read the full feature iProng Magazine 4/2008
When & why did you begin podcasting?
I used to be a college DJ, hosting several music shows and working in station management for 3 years. After I left, I discovered online radio. I started a Live365 station back in January 2000. Eventually I produced some half hour interview features, such as one with Hungry Lucy in May 2005. Garageband had just begun their free podcast service, so I uploaded it there, too. I followed up with a feature on Lovespirals, and then decided it was high time I did a podcast proper.
My first podcast was Chillin’ with Lovespirals, which launched in early June 2005. The idea was that a podcast would be the perfect way to share information and music from our upcoming new album, Free & Easy. I had already been sharing audio interviews online on sites like Mp3.com and SoundClick for years, so I knew our fans enjoyed hearing us discuss our music. I had a hard time, though, convincing my partner, Ryan Lum, that it was a good idea because there weren’t any band podcasts out there yet and he was worried about our bandwidth. Our first episodes were fairly short because of the bandwidth issue.
I still really wanted to do a music podcast, too, and I briefly toyed with the idea of combining concepts into one show, but I’m glad I didn’t, because it would have been too confusing. Chillin’ with Lovespirals is a talk show, whereas The Chillcast is a music show. Sure, sometimes we play a little music on Chillin’ with Lovespirals, and sometimes I have conversations on The Chillcast, but they are totally different. Ryan and I do a much more informal show than when I’m alone in the studio, and you really get to see more of who I am as a person, rather than as a DJ.
Anyway, The Chillcast with Anji Bee, began its life as The Chillcuts Chillcast as more of a tie-in to Lovespirals, since our label name is Chillcuts. I hosted the first 3 episodes on OurMedia.org in January 2006, then I was picked up by PodShow, and the rest – as they say – is history…
What is the most significant thing to happen to you personally as a direct result of producing your podcast?
Podcasting has changed my whole life, honestly! The biggest and best result is that I was able to “quit my dayjob” just like Adam Curry talked about on the DSC when he signed me as part of the first big group of producers to the PodShow network. It has been incredibly liberating to be able to focus solely on audio production, whether it be podcasts or music. And since I have more time to devote to my craft, I’ve been able to improve my skills – both with my singing and my voiceover work. Likewise, I’m able to spend more time developing my marketing, which increases my listener base, so all the way around, it has been fantastic. I’ve met so many wonderful people through podcasting, too, and many of them have inspired me to try new things and reach new vistas. I really can’t say enough about what a great growing experience podcasting has been for me.
What podcasts, if any, do you regularly listen to or watch?
I have to admit I’m a bit spotty with my podcast listening/watching. The one show that I remain totally loyal to is the first podcast I ever subscribed to, and that’s Diggnation. I’ve been a fan of Kevin Rose since he used to be a supporting cast member of The Screen Savers on Tech TV, and I’ve followed everything he’s done since that time. I’ve been listening to the Daily Source Code since Adam started the Podsafe Music Network in 2005. Once he played Lovespirals on the show, I was pretty hooked! Many people actually discovered me through the conversations that Adam and I have had on his show via audio clips. Sometimes it’s hard to keep with him, he’s so prolific, but I check in to see what’s new. I’m also a big fan of In Over Your Head and was devastated when Julien took an extended hiatus recently, but he just made a new episode so I’m hoping he’ll get back into it. Of course I also like to keep up with my friends and ShowGirls co-hosts, the Rumor Girls! I’m into several more music-based shows as well, like Radio BSOTS and Dave’s Lounge, as well as mixed music and talk shows like Mysterious Universe and Friday Favecast. I also dig Tea with Hungry Lucy – and if I’m not mistaken, I was the one to inspire them to begin their show! There’s so many other podcasts that I check out from time to time that I couldn’t possibly list them all, but just to throw out a few; Accident Hash, Cranky Geeks, TWIT, and tons of others.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Honestly, I had a hard time deciding between an artist, a musician, an actor, or a writer and I think that now I’ve pretty much combined all of those things in what I do. I record and release music, I create my website and album art, I perform in my vidcasts and podcasts, and I write – well, not only lyrics, but blog posts, bios, blurbs, heck even this interview. Seems like there’s lots of writing involved in my line of work, surprisingly.
Read the rest of this Mini-Interview with The Chillcast’s Anji Bee on the Podfinder UK site!
Jason Moore of Opus writes:
Ultimately, Lum and Bee are all about creating a mood with their music, a relaxed and blissed-out vibe that should be no stranger to fans of dreampop, chill-out electronica, and atmospheric pop. This is music for both late night sessions and noon daydreams, for both listening to at work when you need to escape the pressure of the day and at home when you simply need to unwind with a good book and a glass of wine.
Miles Klee said in Hot Indie News:
Bluesy slide guitar work sometimes shades over into Santana-like finger-meandering, and vocalist Anji Bee’s layered voice paints bright glaze over already dreamy arrangements. It’s as though the glancing disaffection of 80’s and 90’s dream-poppers has been filtered through an AM radio, a mutation that works by dint of sounding completely natural on an evolutionary view.
From the Green Arrow Radio blog:
More than melancholic music, there is a sense that they traveled with you on similar & familiar roads with the radio tuned to the same left of the dial station in the middle of wherever. After nearly a decade of artistic collaboration between singer/songwriter, Anji Bee, & multi instrumentalist & producer, Ryan Lum, it is no wonder that they have managed to put together an album of answers to questions yet asked with a subtle sultry sense of sound security.
The Celebrity Cafe‘s Ray Anderson mused:
Empty and sad, but of full of emotion, their album Long Way from Home is medicine for those that dig the alternative. How can you take a gut-wrenching classic like “Motherless Child” and make it sadder? Let the “Lovespirals” get a hold of it. It’s easy to fall into the loose, country-tinged groove of “Caught in a Groove” and let your soul be taken for a ride. By the time the “upbeat” “Lovelight” comes on, you won’t mind being “A Long Way from Home,” and I think you’ll want to stay there.
Read or written a great review of Lovespirals? Then post a link here, by all mean!
In honor of Valentine’s Day, the excellent Solipsistic NATION podcast is featuring Lovespirals! Bazooka Joe interviews Ryan and Anji via Skype about the band’s evolving sound, their musical history, the effect of technology on the band, the duo’s songwriting process, and much more. Interspersed with the interview are 7 full length songs — including several special permissions (non-podsafe) tracks — and a few of Anji’s side projects.