Meditating in the solitude of nature, seated atop a steep ocean cliff as the sun set over the horizon, Lovespirals band founder, Ryan Lum, had an epiphany of sorts. He concluded that the album the band recently began work on simply had to be the best of his musical history. It must possess not only great songwriting but also great production and sound quality. Using classic albums from the late '60s to mid '70s as their blueprint, Lum and his songwriting partner, Anji Bee, lovingly labored for the next 12 months to create what they - and many others - believe to be their career-defining album.
Future Past, Lovespirals' fourth full-length album, is a masterful synthesis of the band's vast musical influences into a fresh new electronica sound. As with Lovespirals' prior releases, "Future Past" reflects years of listening to classic albums of various genres; whether rock, jazz, blues, funk, pop, or electronica. But this time around, the band's influences were thoroughly absorbed and internalized, with an end result that is personal and uniquely their own. Even their album's title, "Future Past," encapsulates the duo's method of fusing the vintage sounds and music production ideas of yesteryear with the recording techniques and tools of modern day.
This captivating 11-track set contains their strongest songwriting to date, with an attention to detail in recording quality and production that is unmatched in the duo's decade-long history. Unlike previous efforts, with "Future Past," Lum and Bee were able to focus on their musical efforts full-time, without the distractions of regular day jobs. Lum reflected, "We felt that we had a real opportunity to attempt to create an album that could stand up to those made with big budgets in big studios." Indeed, the album was written, recorded, and mixed entirely in the band's own home studio, which had just been upgraded with newly acquired vintage units as well as modern gear with retro sonic flavors, such as a new Neumann microphone and UA tube preamplifier - both based on designs from the '50s.
Moreso than the gear, however, it's the magical combination of Lum's soulful guitar and Bee's sumptuous vocal harmonies that is the cornerstone of Lovespirals' signature sound. Lovely album opener "Home" happily welcomes the band's return to electronica form from their previous Americana-infused dream pop release, "Long Way From Home." This track, along with the gorgeously melancholic "Shine," and epic album-closer, "Believe," are bittersweet electro-pop gems in the vein of early Air or Zero 7, with lazy beats, lush arrangements, and Bee's honeyed vocals. But Lum's masterful guitar work sets the band apart from their contemporaries, bringing the rhythm and lead playing of a classic rock artist to a largely computer-based genre.
With a subtle yet powerful mix of musical moods and emotional expressions, "Future Past" is sure to enchant both old and new listeners for years to come.
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