|Featured Band (14): No Excesses As exlovers' Example Exploring Nineties Dream-pop Endures Examination|
|Written by DJ Space|
|Saturday, 12 March 2011 00:00|
Drawing upon its 90's indie influences (cited as The Cure, Teenage Fan Club, My Bloody Valentine, and Elliot Smith), London band exlovers combines soft, sombre lyrics with distorted guitars to create its dream-pop sound, contrasting the fragile vocals of Laurel Sills and Peter Scott with the occasionally frenzied guitar playing of Chris Woodhead.
"Pale Saints jamming with Dinosaur Jr," VPM recently reported. "They produce songs which give hope and inspiration to the lovelorn and the lost."
"When 'Blowing Kisses' kicks in with it’s urgent guitars and laid back vocals, it is clear that this band have huge amounts of potential," The Whiteboard Project said.
"Ex Lovers all fit together perfectly, like Stickle Bricks," A New Band A Day wrote when exlovers supported Pete and the Pirates in 2008. "Ex Lovers just work."
The welcome resurgence of 90's shoegaze and dream-pop is currently popular with new bands on both sides of the Atlantic, and exlovers is a great example of young artists exploring this genre of music. exlovers' relaxed boy-girl harmonies and driving guitars exude confidence in its abilities to make music of distinction.
exlovers comprises of Peter Scott (vocals, guitar), Laurel Sills (vocals, keyboards), Danny Blackman (bass), Chris Woodhead (guitar), and Brooke Rogers (drums). The band has grown around its core of singer-songwriter Scott and guitarist Woodhead, both emanating from the Cornish fishing town of St Ives, England. Scott had written a bevy of songs inspired by everything from the Beatles to punk before being introduced to Laurel Sills and recording demos. Blackman and Rogers joined later to complete the current line-up.
exlovers' band members list influences as diverse as Sparklehorse, Pixies, Belle and Sebastian, Blink-182, and PJ Harvey. "I always find it very difficult to explain why I feel the way I do about certain music," Scott observed in an interview with VPM.
The band released its first single, "Just a Silhouette" as a limited edition 7" through Chess Club Records at the end of 2008, and its second was a double A-side, "Photobooth/Weightless" released through Young and Lost Club in the spring of 2009, gaining exlovers maximum exposure on XFM and BBC channels Radio1 and 6Music.
A video of an acoustic version of "Just a Silhouette" being played live for The Fly/MUZU.TV can be viewed here.
"‘Photobooth' demonstrates exlovers ability to interweave gentle boy-girl harmonies, jangly guitars and wistful lyrics, which all combine to create a dreamlike soundscape," Young and Lost Club announced at the time of its release. "‘Weightless’ demonstrates a darker, edgier side to the band. Its sweetly sombre lyrical musings are met with lo-fi guitars, ever-developing vocal harmonies and subtle instrumental discord, reminiscent of a bittersweet Pavement."
A video of "Photobooth" being played live at The Hope in Brighton, England can be viewed here.
Stephen Street, best known for his work with Blur, Pete Doherty, and The Smiths, produced the five-track EP, You Forget So Easily, which was released through Chess Club Records in the fall of that year. The EP is a treasure trove of boy-girl harmonies and dream-pop soundscapes.
A video of "You're So Quiet" being played live at The Hope can be viewed here.
"Blowing Kisses" (B-side "Moth-eaten Memories"), the fourth single/EP from exlovers, was released through Young and Lost Club at the end of February. This single can be downloaded from iTunes.
"It’s about the failure to commit to someone and the unconscious will to destroy your relationships," Scott revealed to VPM. "To different degrees they [the songs] are all autobiographical."
"Further developing their mix of wistful girl-boy vocals with formidable grungy guitars, the single was recorded with Jimmy Robertson (Florence and the Machine, The Big Pink) with whom they are currently ensconced with at legendary studio Rockfield working on their debut album," Young and Lost Club recently announced.
The B-side and current set-closer, "Moth-eaten Memories" is available as a free download through following the Soundcloud link.
"Making the last video [Blowing Kisses] was quite a strange experience," Scott explained. "We had people standing in front of us the whole time holding leaf blowers and blasting petals, dust and anything else that happened to be floating around directly into our faces whist we performed a song."
exlovers spent much of 2010 recording its debut album at Rockfield Studios in Wales with guitarist and former member of Children of Dub, Demian Castellanos and producer Jimmy Robertson which is set for release later this year.
"We’re most of the way through recording the album now," Scott confirmed. "It has been really enjoyable but also quite draining for me personally. It’s mostly new material though it will include some older songs... revised and re-recorded for the album."
"The main priority is the album - we’re all really looking forward to releasing it," he added.
A video of a currently unreleased track "In the Woods with the Werewolf" being played live at The Hope can be viewed here.
In existence since 2008, exlovers has already completed several UK tours supporting artists including Golden Silvers, Pete Doherty, and Pete and the Pirates.
"Sometimes it can be a daunting prospect, especially if I’m not feeling particularly stable-minded," Scott said. "But I’m capable of enjoying myself too and, when there’s an audience of people who are receptive and encouraging, it can be a beautiful experience."
"It would be difficult to single out any particular shows that we’ve especially enjoyed as there have been quite a number of them now," he added.
"Exlovers go out on a headline tour in February, followed by a tour with Noah and the Whale later this year," Young and Lost Club confirmed.
Scott talked to VPM about the artwork used for the band's singles. "Quite a lot of the images that we’ve used are people that I know and people who have made some kind of imprint on the music," Scott disclosed. "If we find an image that seems in keeping with the tone and mood of the music then we go with it."
The relaxed boy-girl harmonies, driving guitars, and professional production of the band's output have eliminated excesses and kept the lo-fi noise associated with much of the shoegaze genre to a minimum, as exlovers reproduce the kind of indie dream-pop sound associated more with bands like Teenage Fanclub, Belle and Sebastian, and The Pains of Being Pure At Heart rather than the shoegaze of The Jesus and Mary Chain, Catherine Wheel, and My Bloody Valentine. The dreamy music exlovers produce is worthy of all three and endures close examination.
|Last Updated on Saturday, 12 March 2011 19:36|