Matt Rowe reviews “Free & Easy”
In a time where there are many flavours and derivations of music, giving listeners a multitude of choices, and allowing for precision of preference, Lovespirals, originally birthed as Love Spirals Downward[s] some years back, has become a provider of experiences.
Lovespirals’ evolutionary path has brought it down the road from gothic shoegazer pop to hypnotically provocative jazz that is, at once, sexy, sultry, and dreamy. Their last album, the transitional Windblown Kiss, provided hints and sneak peeks into the heart of this duo and where they were headed while their latest, Free & Easy, wades deeply into the stream of where they are.
On Free and Easy, the band’s second release with Anji Bee, who possesses a voice of honey, and a natural element that adds colour and flame to songs, exploring realms of intensities in varying degrees, there are 9 songs of jazz-fusion. With original member, Ryan Lum adding stylish guitar and keyboards to permeate the silky fabric of the new album, the lover of jazz in all of its incarnations will be quite entranced.
The album’s opener, “Free & Easy”, begins by exuding an exhilarating blend of heady and dizzying sensuality. Ryan Lum’s instrumental approach is simple and effective, wisely allowing the mood of the song to carry the listener to the album’s first deliberate destination. It’s followed by the sexually tense, “Hand in Hand”, a musically soft ‘in the moment’ tune of the perfection of love. Things pick up with the dance flavoured “Deep In My Soul” carried by a funky rhythm and delivered by Anji’s ‘by now heart pulsing’ voice. The tune is reminiscent of the ’80s brand of music.
“Walk Away” resembles the past of Lovespirals more readily than the other tunes but still underlines a mournful jazz that also resembles Sade. “Habitual” is one of the stronger songs on the album and reveals a melancholy brought on by the rut of sameness. The album’s strongest track, the ‘saved the best for last’ “Sandcastles” is clearly the band’s single. It has all of the elements going for it – lyrics, atmosphere, a brilliant soundtrack, that voice – that should alert a sleepy public to the dream-dripping gorgeousness of Lovespirals.
Lovespirals already showcases all of the reasons that they should be this period’s hip duo. What remains is for you to discover why I said it.