Love Inks – Generation Club Album Review

Love Inks are set to release their new album Generation Club on 23 September through Monofonus Press. The record shows off lead singer Sherry LeBlanc’s distinctive caramel vocals as they glide over backdrops of playful percussion and soothing synth sounds.

Love Ink’s 2011 debut LP, E.S.P, received praise from NME, Dazed & Confused, The Stool Pigeon and Grazia for it’s sparse yet sweet hazy summer anthems. Now Love Inks, comprised of couple Sherry LeBlanc and Kevin Dehan accompanied by Derek Brown on bass, present the fuller yet equally mesmerising Generation Club.

LeBlanc explains: “There’s a lot of loneliness and isolation… and time is mentioned a lot. Time passing slowly is a theme  for some reason.  Austin is a lazy town and time goes very slowly, we love it here but people don’t really hop to it, so to speak.

Love Inks Generation Club

Love Inks artwork for new album, Generation Club

“To get the record done Kevin didn’t talk to anyone for a long time and just focused on recording.

“Isolating himself really angered all of his friends who thought he was being weird which furthered the level of isolation… Overall it’s a positive album but it is very reflective.”

With the record’s conception pointed at their first European tour and time spent in Berlin, it makes sense that Generation Club was created with their live show in mind, this time with a focus on creating a slightly fuller sound.

LeBlanc added: “E.S.P. was so short and minimal, our live performances felt like we were reading poetry at a music venue. This time we wanted to add some mid-frequency tones to help balance out the quiet on stage. The album is still minimal and sticks with what we do best.  We’re always going to love drum machines more than live drums for this band, it just fits better.”

As with all of their recordings, Generation Club was recorded on a half-inch tape machine by the band in their home-town of Austin but this time mixed in an analogue  studio by Matt Oliver at Big Orange Studios, using methods inspired by Kraftwerk & Brian Eno.

“It’s a labour of love when someone does that,” Sherry muses. “It’s about their rhythm and timing and even muscle memory. It leaves very little room for error on the musicians  part and adds very distinct fingerprints from the person mixing– there’s no auto tune or cutting and pasting within the tracks.”

Track one, Hold Out, introduces Love Inks’ knack for producing repetitive yet soothing melodies. With the drums and bass starting things off, the synth slowly seeps in and eventually LeBlanc’s sexy vocals make their appearance, “Come and sit where I’m standing/There’s a fire I’m sending/There’s a chance that I’m holding/There’s a chance that I’m holding out.”

Love Inks have unveiled a super sweet new video to go alongside new single, Outta Sight. Outta Sight shows what Love Inks do best – simplicity in melodies. The warming new video goes hand in hand, giving an insight into the personal lives of the Austin-based trio. It shows the group embarking on an array of glorious summertime adventures complete with great friends and family, emphasising the importance of those things that make life oh-so-sweet.

Night Lunch is a wonderful track filled with LeBlanc’s angelic yet super sweet and sexy vocals which sing, “Tell me/Where you want me to go/Tell me now/Before I already know/Here we are/Walking through the halls/Here we go/We’re about to fall/You can tell me now/Or you can tell me tomorrow…” The repetitive drum beat and synth sounds could become dull but Love Inks always manage to make every song interesting, mainly due to LeBlanc’s unusual vocals. She has a breathless way of singing which keeps you actively listening. Her voice is naturally good, she never struggles or tries too hard to impress. LeBlanc’s vocals always seem to have that singing around the house quality – she seems to just sing with no effort as if no-one is listening and it comes out perfect.

Previous single Solar Diary appears on Generation Club and will never fail to sound new every time.There will always be something  refreshing about Solar Diary. The lyrics, “Tell me where you’re coming from/Is it something that’s real?” will always have that dreamy, sleepy effect on the listener.

Time is one of the strongest songs on the record albeit one of the shortest. As LeBlanc sings, “Time/Time don’t need nothing but time/Nothing but time/Why/Why are you running away/Running away/Tell me something I don’t know/You can find in the front door/Keep it all to yourself now…” you start to hear another side to Love Inks. Time’s tempo and dynamics are different from the other tracks on Generation Club – it has a happier feel to it and leaves behind the album’s sombre tones. It’s also slightly Blondie-esque. It’s a song that picks the listener up out of the dream world that the other songs have eased you into and places you slap back into the middle of reality. You feel awakened when you hear this track.

Secret Tattoo is another of the best songs on Generation Club but is again one of the shortest. LeBlanc comes straight in with the lyrics, “I’ve got your name/I’ve got your name tattooed on my brain” which are heard frequently throughout the song but they never become boring. Secret Tattoo is again another track that’s more uplifting than the previous numbers. It’s definitely true to say that the second half of Generation Club is more interesting and sustainable than the first.

Waiting On A Plane is the last track on the record and brings it back to the hazy, chill out music Love Inks are renowned for. The lyrics “The last time that I saw you we were holding/On to something no-one could explain/All romantics meet the same…” pay a small amount of homage to Joni Mitchell’s The Last Time I Saw Richard (“All romantics meet the same fate…”).

There’s really not much going on musically on Generation Club but for some reason that is what makes it such a great record. You can relax and become involved in the music without there being too many distractions from special effects and layers upon layers of instruments. Generation Club is out on 23 September through Monofonus Press.


1 Comment

Filed under Music, News, Reviews

One response to “Love Inks – Generation Club Album Review

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