I never got around to sharing my Best Songs You (Maybe) Didn’t Hear list for 2010 with the internets in general in December, so I’ve decided to mine it for fresh post material in February and March. I’m posting the songs in the order in which they would have appeared in the final playlist, so if you play along at home, you’ll have heard a tidy 80-ish minutes of great music when all is said and done. Today, say hello to The Love Language.
The Love Language’s Libraries makes me think a lot of Elliot Smith’s XO: after releasing a number of beautiful, lo-fi folk albums, Smith got access to a real studio and big label money for XO and released a lush album that sounded like the best album George Harrison never released. The Love Language’s self-titled debut 1999 was a truly lo-fi rock affair, recorded without the benefit of a studio. For Libraries, Stuart McLamb and company holed up in a studio and made the album that Arcade Fire’s Suburbs should have been: a stirring shot of indie rock, augmented with flourishes of strings and handclaps but minus the art-rock pomp. Me gusta. The songs are sharp and catchy as hell, and their late-60’s-AM-radio vibe is still very much intact.
Picking just one song from Libraries to include on my mix was tough, but with the mandolin and those huge drums, “Brittany’s Back” sounds like a Spector-ized R.E.M., and it’s fantastic:
It’s also great live:
Grab The Love Language’s Libraries at iTunes, and you’ll get demos for half the album’s songs — pretty neat bonus.