illustration by Gracen Hoyle
For the record, I’ve probably been one of those annoying people who tell you how they basically ‘discovered’ an artist. For me, that’s lovelytheband. I first saw lovelytheband in early December 2017 at a small venue in Austin, TX, where they opened for the headlining show. lovelytheband had only been formed the previous year and just released their debut EP, “everything i could never say…” a few months prior in September of 2017. Vocalist Mitchy Collins, guitarist Jordan Greenwald and drummer Sam Price make up the group, and they first gained traction when their single “broken” topped the US Alternative Rock charts and helped them win IHeartRadio’s Best New Rock/Alternative Artist in 2019.
Since then, they have developed a steady fanbase and released 2 LPs, their most recent of which, “conversations with myself about you,” premiered on August 28 of this year. lovelytheband is a group I have enjoyed following, and I have anticipated this release since its announcement in the spring. To be honest, I was a little nervous; sophomore albums can be a daunting, slippery slope into the dreaded “sophomore slump.” However, my first impressions of the album are almost all positive; the band more than succeeds in continuing to develop the sound that gained them success and simultaneously addresses a variety of topics surrounding love, loss and mental health.
“conversations with myself about you” opens with a unique and attention-grabbing prelude. The title track features a sound collage of audio bites spelling out the name of the album. The sounds allude to samples from radio or movie clips as the music beneath builds tension and creates a somber tone. The mood quickly changes however, with tracks “waste,” “buzz cut” and “loneliness for love.” Punchy pop melodies and catchy choruses have you wanting to dance and sing along. Despite the upbeat accent, the music is juxtaposed with heartbreaking lyrics about loneliness, depression and missing past relationships. “i hate myself,” “idwtgtyp,” “silly” and “emo” drive these themes home with brutally honest and vulnerable lyrics. “emo”’s opening lines, “Do you drink because you miss me? Or do you miss me ‘cause you’re drunk?” encompass the record’s entire mood.
The second half of the album continues with subjects of lost love and reminiscing on failed relationships in “love somebody else” and “flowers on my grave.” The songs don’t sugarcoat much. The band’s vulnerability is on full display if you pay attention under the seemingly happy melodies. Finally, lovelytheband closes with “your favorite one,” a song about a potential love that you sadly find eventually crumbling in front of you. Strings, synths and despondent drums accompany distorted vocals in the second half of the song, repeating the lyrics “conversations with myself about you,” bringing the record full circle, ending with the click of a cassette tape.
It’s been a full two years since lovelytheband’s debut LP, “finding it hard to smile.” Despite the time gap, the group left out no detail in crafting an intricate and emotionally powerful second project. Don’t be turned off by the sad song names; the album’s indie-alternative pop/rock sound is easy to jam to and sing along in the car, and when you need it, the record features slower songs to break up and relax the fast-pace tempo.
While I’ve only had the chance to listen all the way through a few times, I’m confident these songs will have plenty of time in my music library in the near future. If you’re in your feels and want to dance the sadness away, lovelytheband’s “conversations with myself about you” might just be the album for you.
Favorite songs: love somebody else, emo, silly, your favorite one, flowers – on my grave