Tuesday, March 22, 2016

"Nothing But Glory," a new angel goth track by Loving You

New York-based duo Loving You sent me their new track, “Nothing But Glory” for a write-up, and I’ve had it stuck in my head all week! But I’m not complaining; this catchy angel goth anthem sounds like a cross between Ellie Goulding and Massive Attack, a mix of fairy dust and dark matter.

Wintry found sounds permeate the intro and endow the number with a wild melancholy that makes it ideal for introspection. While many pop artists strive to create summer songs, this is one for your headphones in the wind and snow as you march through the urban decay with your mind focused on clawing your way to your aspirations, and fuck anyone who tries to take you down. This is a song for when you feel like a force to be reckoned with.

Haunting and cinematic with emotive timing in the layering of electronic instruments, these beats are not robotic, but like a human heart hardened to robotic nature to survive. The song’s composition becomes more intricate as it plays, like a forest that grows steadily denser as you walk through it. Indeed, the song does conjure images of bare trees beneath a gray sky in the still moments following a blizzard. The fuzzed out bass sounds like the eerie loneliness of television static, and Chris Lancaster’s strings evolve from rapid breathlessness to watery uncertainty seamlessly within a few bars. Alison Clancy’s pixie-like vocals move from states of weary fragility to airy belting with honest lyrical interpretation. The song’s chorus, the mantra of a heart broken but not beaten, stays with me long after the tune ends, forcing me to choose it when I step on the train, when I create my workout playlist. The mark of a good pop song.

This music excites me and has already encouraged me to purchase Loving You’s first EP, Tuff Love. And yet I wish they would go darker. I hear the possibility of blackholes and specters, and I hear the tremendous sorrow of their earlier work, and I want them to take the deep plunge into the unlocked potential of their sound. “Nothing But Glory” is right on the edge. I’d love to hear them go all the way over. 

Vocalist Alison Clancy was kind enough to answer a few questions about Loving You and “Nothing But Glory” in particular. Below is our interview, conducted over email and edited only for grammar. 

Courtesy of the band, and Safety Third Productions

HJ: How did you two meet?

AC: When Chris moved to NYC, his first job was accompanying my ballet class at NYU. He had never played for a ballet class before, and didn't really know what to do. I was standing directly in front of him, so he just followed my legs like [a] metronome and played to my every gesture. I was like “Holy fuck, this is an incredible feeling.” It created an intense creative dynamic from the moment we met.

HJ: What is your background in music/the arts?

AC: Chris is a classically trained cellist who has spent years expanding the idea of what a cello can be via electronics. He is a visceral performer and celebrated composer for dance and theater. I'm a professional dancer. I perform at lot with The Metropolitan Opera Ballet and various fashion and art projects. A few years ago I started experimenting with music. Once a I started, I was obsessively hooked, spending every free moment diving in. After dancing silently for many years, making lots of noise became really exciting. 

HJ: What was your inspiration for this particular song?

AC: It's always a little elusive to me and often feels like the songs write themselves... but I think this one has something to do with balancing my very willful personality with an acceptance of fate and inevitability...

HJ: What was the process of writing and producing it like?

AC: It started as a purely cello and vocal composition Chris and I wrote in a small Cabin in northern California. When we got back to NYC we performed it for our friend Tony Long, and he was inspired to create a beat driven, fuzzed out, electronic version (hence "Grindhouse Edition" in the title). Tony is  a dope producer and my favorite golden boy, so I was stoked to collaborate with him on the idea. He created a beat and synth foundation, and our friend Sonny tracked some guitars and bass.  Then we had several recording and mixing sessions in our Brooklyn living room with Tony, layering in vocal, cello and electronic elements. 

HJ: Do you have any shows in the US planned anytime soon?

AC: We are currently touring Scandinavia, but working on booking shows in NYC/Brooklyn for May and June and on the west coast for August.

HJ: Can we expect another track or an EP any time soon?

AC: Yes, we have an EP in the works which I expect will be released in late summer.

Courtesy of the band. Photo by Andrew T. Foster


I’m already planning to see one of their NYC shows! Stay posted on Loving You’s projects and tour dates here.

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