Released 24th September
There’s something a little other-worldly about Love Inks’ second album. One can imagine drifting off to sleep to Generation Club, not, I hasten to point out, because it’s boring, but because the soft pulse of the percussion alongside synths and Sherry Leblanc’s lovely, smooth, dipped-in-caramel vocals creates the soundtrack to a blissful dream. That is why, I suppose, Love Inks’ music has been described as ‘dream pop’, though the band are not too comfortable with the moniker, preferring the broader ‘minimalist electronic pop’, which also makes sense, the band can be described as a more colourful version of ‘minimalist electronic pop’ pioneers The XX.
Made up of Husband and Wife Kevin Dehan and Sherry Leblanc, and close friend Derek Brown, Love Inks’ critically acclaimed first album E.S.P was a very personal, grass roots affair. Generation Club is no different; self-financed and recorded on a half inch tape machine at the couple’s home in Texas, the album is a labour of love. You can feel it.
Opening Track ‘Solar Diary’ is quietly epic, Dehan has claimed the song to be ‘about a girl running’, the low, murmuring synthesizers and relentless beat do a good job of constructing this image and create a sense of foreboding. “Scream against the sky” Leblanc sings, conjuring all manner of dark images. In contrast, single Time has all the attributes of a perfect pop song; a catchy, memorable melody, a driving rhythm, euphoric synths and a punk-rock length of 2 minutes.
Leblanc’s vocals are reminiscent of a softer Karen-O, at times her lyrics are almost whispered over beautiful, flying melodies. She sounds like a more sophisticated Lana Del Rey at the lower end of her range, and a more polished Debbie Harry at the top. The upbeat single ‘Outta Sight’, led by a rather lovely reverb-y guitar line, particularly benefits from Sherry’s sleek vocals, as does final track ‘Waiting on A Plane‘ where Sherry sounds truly heartbroken as she wavers through the simple tune.
Love Inks have managed to create a record that, despite its glossy finish, sounds raw and full of emotional significance. The tracks have a tendency to merge together (one of the perils of going down the ‘minimalistic’ route I feel) but do so in a listener-friendly way. Generation Club is a modest gem, definitely worth a listen.
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