New York City has produced many artists that are impossible to ignore; talents that are awe inspiring. Love Crushed Velvet is part of that prestigious group. Standing out among the crowds, Love Crushed Velvet is a relentless voice, one that cannot be silenced or pushed out–not that you’d want it to be.
Following the band’s acclaimed debut, Love Crushed Velvet announced the release of the Delusions EP on September 24th. The EP was mixed by Mark Needham, who has worked with everyone from Fleetwood Mac to The Killers. “Mark was great to work with because he had an intuitive understanding of the kind of sound we were going for,” frontman A.L.X. says. “He’s got great instincts and attention to detail, which is why so many top acts go to him. We were able to let go of the work knowing that Mark was going to be able to bring out the best in our songs–which he did.”
Like many artists, Love Crushed Velvet subtly made moves to reflect a difference from their debut album. “[We built] upon the demos that we had cut with David Maurice, our producer. We all felt that this approach was best suited towards crafting the nuanced kind of sound that we were looking for, which was a different approach than we had taken on our debut,” A.L.X. explains. “We spent a lot time looking for interesting voicing on multiple instruments, which gives the album a very particular sonic texture.”
While the EP is a small departure from the band’s debut album, listeners will recognize the flow of the songs, and the creativity that brings them to live. “I try to stay open to receiving ideas and energy from various sources, so it’s a very ‘stream-of-consciousness’ kind of creative process,” A.L.X. says. “Sometimes, I’ll be influenced by what i see on tv or hear in a conversation; other times, a song idea will come from something I am experiencing in real time. Then, there are instances where the past comes back to bite me, and that gets channeled into a song. And just as often as all of the above, random gibberish will pop into my head and it’s then up to the band and I to decipher what it means.”
Despite the possibility of each song stemming from “random gibberish,” Love Crushed Velvet’s lyrics tend to have a message of some description; an opinion that cannot be muted. “While we’re not an ‘activist’ band per se, we are still very affected by what goes on around us,” he states. “Our first single, ‘Revolution Time,’ is an example of that–it was inspired by events in the Middle East. Social issues may end up playing an increasingly larger role in our music over time–we are really troubled by a lot of things going on in the world at the moment, and are bringing that into some of the new material that we’re currently working on. You’ll likely see that on our next album. Unfortunately, music no longer serves as a platform for change in the way it did for previous generations, but that doesn’t stop us from trying to get our message out. Even if you influence only a handful of people, you’ve still moved the needle, however slightly.”
Half of getting that needle to move, even just that little bit, involves getting the crowd involved; letting them react to each note in real-time. “We’ve road-tested a few of the new songs already, and the feedback has been really enthusiastic. The new material really takes our live show to another level.”
Prior to taking the material out on the road and unleashing it on the masses, the songs already take on a life of their own, a skeleton, shrouded in possibility and potential. “Watching a song grow [is my favorite part of recording]. When you first get into the studio, you often start with a very skeletal version of a song, and we love the process of turning it into a full orchestration and seeing it realize its potential. It’s a neverending series of challenges and surprises,” A.L.X. expresses honestly.
One of the surprises the band will face is the reaction of the audience. “[I’m a] mix of nervous and excited–it’s often hard to predict how your new work is going to be received. The writing and recording process can be very insular, so by the time a record gets released, you’ve heard the songs countless times, making it very difficult to keep a sense of objectivity about it. That’s why it’s really important to set aside some time between the end of tracking and the start of mixing
—you need to let your ears clear out,” A.L.X. clarifies. “But we are feeling really good about these new songs—the initial feedback has been extremely positive, so we’re quite excited to let them loose into the world.”
With confidence, determination, and the clarity that Love Crushed Velvet approaches their work, it’s hard to imagine the EP receiving anything but praise.
Delusions will be out on September 24th, 2013.