Originally from Silver Lake, California, LUCKYANDLOVE formed in 2014, their name inspired by The Good Luck bar where April Love and Loren Luck first met in 2006. Jump forward a few years and 2019 is promising to be a big year for the duo, with a tour of the US starting March 30th and running throughout April and May and then onto the UK where they play London and Manchester.
A new album, Transitions, is also on the horizon with a release date slated for May 24th. This new album promises a deeper, more darkly textural and multi-layered sound from their 2017 debut. Going by the teasers, April and Loren have embraced the murkier elements of darkwave, infusing their sound with trippy ambiance and coiling electronics. April‘s voice is sultry and spectral, arcing in and out of the swept melodies and growling sinewaves.
Opening the mix, put together for The Jupiter Room by the duo, is a world exclusive of “Rosary” from Transitions which shows growth and development of aesthetics and form; this is a duo who don’t stand still, they look to evolve and experiment, to challenge and entice with sensual sonics. “This is a very transformational record. Making it was an emotional journey with both heart-breaking and fun experiences because we are always in transition,” says Loren Luck.
Their eponymous 2017 debut established LUCKYANDLOVE as an exciting, emerging act who eschewed the cliches of synthpop and used their surroundings as inspiration during the writing and recording process. Using one’s environment as inspiration is not uncommon among artists and musicians. Notably, British industrial and electronic artists of the late 70’s used their surroundings as stimuli for their sound and aesthetic; notably Sheffield’s The Human League and Cabaret Voltaire took the sounds of the nearby steel foundries to forge their sound while Throbbing Gristle channeled the noise and clatter of the factories in and around Hackney to establish themselves as industrial music pioneers.
LUCKYANDLOVE used just this approach during the recording of their debut album. The tracks were written when bandmates Loren Luck (drums and synths) and April Love (vocals, keyboards and guitar) were living next to a noisy construction site in Glendale, California. They successfully incorporated synth-heavy bass with polyphonic harmonies and crystalline vocals to glide through hypnotic and trance vistas. The sound of industry is evident throughout the album. One of the lead singles, “Digging in the Earth”, is a literal manifestation of this, with a video portraying construction machines and building work.
Inspired by artists such as New Order, OMD, Depeche Mode, Washed Out, Tycho, PJ Harvey and Cocteau Twins, their sound folds neatly into the realm existing between electro-rock, dream pop, electronica and synth-gaze, their compositions have, in the words of Loren Luck, “lots of LFO, riveting arpeggiations, simultaneous solos via spacey square waves, with April‘s smoky vocals. Musically, as much attention was paid sonically to the organic Moog instruments as April’s voice, and we offered the analog synths space in the songs to breathe to their true dynamic potential”.
Catch them on tour at the following venues:
TRANSITIONS TOUR 2019
Mar 30 Burbank, CA – Synthplex L.A. Mariott Convention Center
Apr 2 Oakland, CA – The Golden Bull
Apr 5 Portland, OR – Out From the Shadows Festival, Tonic Lounge
Apr 6 Olympia, WA – Le Voyeur
Apr 7 Santa Cruz, CA – The Crepe Place
Apr 13 Highland Park, CA – Highland Park Bowl
Apr 27 Pioneertown, CA – Deathwave Festival
May 16 Los Angeles, CA – Downtown L.A. Art Walk, The Lash
June 22 London, UK – Synthwave Live 3, Electrowerkz
June 24 Manchester, UK – The Peer Hat
June 26 Sheffield, UK – The Mulberry Bar
Tickets are available from LUCKYANDLOVE.COM
April Love very kindly took some time out from her hectic schedule to answer some questions for The Jupiter Room.
What are your earliest musical memories?
I remember first hearing my mom play the piano when I was two and I started playing when I was three. Me and my dad would sing our favorite songs in the car on the way to my piano lessons and to preschool.
You currently record as LUCKYANDLOVE, how did you first meet, had either of you played in bands previously?
We met at the Good Luck bar in Los Angeles. While I was ordering my Mai Tai I saw Loren walk to the back [and] I thought he was cute, he had a thrift store Pacific North West indie look and I went up to him to tell him I was bored.
He told me he had recently moved to L.A. from El Paso and he was a drummer and a previous record store owner and I invited him to my gig that week at the Derby. He showed up and told me he liked my songs. Eventually, we started playing together in a different band where my primary instruments were Farfisa, Nord, piano and sometimes guitar.
What is the sound and ethos behind this project?
In this project, LUCKYANDLOVE, I knew I wanted a more synth-focused band as in other bands the synths got drowned out by loud guitar and bass amp, not to mention singing often felt like a battle to be heard. I was getting fed up with the computer, so Loren and I decided to work together, doing everything analog, away from the computer. At that point, we already had a very large warehouse studio space downtown, set up with a drum set, organ and piano so it was easy to add additional synths one by one. Eventually, we ditched the traditional drum set and Loren started live looping his synths. The ethos would be two lovers playing live electronica, improving, jamming and being able to move to the next part of the song with zero effort while being completely focused on each other with a singular focus of synth-centricity.
Where do you draw your inspiration from, musically and non-musically?
For our single “Dangerous Run Away”, everything from film noir, Alfred Hitchcock and recent spy movies, probably originally from the collective unconscious like Atomic Blonde, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, James Bond and conspiracy theories. Finding old 70s episodes of “In Search Of” with Leonard Nimoy always inspires. Some of our songs are inspired by Chinatown and underground dance clubs in DTLA and SF. Others like our song “Rosary” are inspired by religion, childhood fears, and our grandmothers. Musically, from Henry Mancini to 4AD to Ghostly International stuff. Giorgio Moroder, Italo Disco, Kraftwerk, Gary Numan, Ladytron, Massive Attack, Kavinsky, and Stereolab.
What are your musical/creative backgrounds?
We are both childhood musicians. I played synths in several bands in SF and in LA and Loren played drums in several bands all over the South.
Tell us about your studio setup.
We record live on our records and write songs off the cuff a lot. So our studio is set to rehearse, write and record all at the same time so we can capture the magic right then and there. We don’t perform, write or record on a computer so that’s not there, it’s just pretty much what you see on stage along with a piano, P.A., more amps, extra synths, black curtains, and stage lights.
Do you use hardware, soft synths, DAW or a combination? How does this differ (if at all) from your live rig?
We only use hardware, and analogue synths, no DAW. Our drum equipment is all analogue as well as Loren’s synth and live drum sounds are coming from his Dave Smith tempest. I think when we tour Europe we’ll need to pare down for the airplane so we will use more Digiteks.
What are you both listening to at the moment, what should we be checking out?
To be honest, since we’ve been busy booking our tour ourselves, we have been so busy listening to all these phenomenal bands we are going to share a stage with! For starters, Thomas Dolby who has always been truly inspirational, his track “Europa and the Pirate Twins” is fun and the behind the scenes interviews when he’s talking about how he wrote the modular part on “She Blinded Me with Science” is entertaining. We are playing the same fest and same night on March 30th. We go on the main stage at 7pm and he’ll be performing in a private gala dinner. We are excited to check out Symbion Project and his other project Gishiki the next day.
Calico Sky’s covers of “Head Over Heels by Tears for Fears”, “I Summon You” by Spoon and Moby‘s track “When It’s Cold I’d Like To Die” that was played in Stranger Things are all outstanding and Wandering Poet’s track “Future” we play with Calico Sky and Wandering Poet’s on April 13th at the Highland Park Bowl.
I love the sequencing work in this track by Steilacoom, and we are performing with them with more of our Council of Synth music collective including Elevate the Sky, A Problem of Time and Starfarer in Oakland, CA April 2, 2019, and also Santa Cruz, CA on April 7th, 2019.
I am in love with this video by Low Sea performing with them in London on June 22, 2019.
Darkswoon is super emotional and at times makes me cry! We are performing with them and our buddies A Secret Light in Portland at the Out From The Shadows Fest in Portland April 4th-6th.
Then in Pioneer town we are playing Deathwave Fest on April 27th and one band that is playing called Vain Machine we started getting to know, and I like this track called “I was Made for Lovin’ You” I also like Chainsaw Rainbow and NKRIOT‘s remix of The Black Keys.
Izzie Voodoo and the People is really great this is one of Derek of Defsynth‘s many projects. We’ll be playing with the amazingly talented Derek / Defsynth in Manchester on June 24th.
B-Movie‘s extended version of “No Where Girl” still is amazing and is still a staples song on the radio and in dance clubs here in LA since 1982 and we’ll be performing with them and The Department at Synthwave Live 3 at Electrowerkz on June 22nd in London!
You have a new LP in the works, can you tell us about it?
“Telekinesis” and “Ayahuasca” are my two favorite words I sing on this record. But at the same time there is a lot of reflection on fun moments in the past, like dancing in clubs or going to the beach. Like, “Dancing (Alone Again)”, we wink at Morrissey, The Cure, Prince, Billy Idol‘s hits at the same time the song is about being at clubs like Club Underground in Chinatown DTLA, Part Time Punks in Echo Park on Sundays and the Cat Club in SF .
But…we transition going deeper out into the unknown. Like with our first debut record, titled Lucky+Love, there were a lot of sky and space concepts introduced; for this second album, Transitions we get downright spooky. Like my brain keeps imagining a transition into ‘rainbow body’ while I’m playing “Soul Alive”. With “Mistake” and “Bottomline”, we remove some subliminal mental splinters. I play typical bass heavy, control filter synths, and Loren has psycho beats and our spoon bending lyrical concepts brush up against danger, and suspense. Like in “Rosary” put on some night vision goggles to help you see what’s lurking in the dark. We include a bit of our dog’s chain that was accidentally recorded before she passed away. The track is about many things but mostly about memories of my grandma passing away. Being that she was born in Italy and a devout Catholic, we’d pray at night before we went to bed. She would pray this prayer and since at the time my grandpa was no longer with us, I often thought the prayer was a desire to be with him again in heaven. Since she’s no longer with us, when I have been scared at night especially as a kid, I wondered if my late relatives and friends were there with me. Since the recording, our dog also passed away and Loren‘s grandmother so the song is dedicated to these loved ones and makes us cry often! But these songs are up for interpretation cause this ride is totally up to you.
What are your favourite sounds?
About 12 seconds into “Dangerous Run Away” there is a neat sound on our OB – 6 and in “Soul Alive”, there is a sick piano that comes in around 2:22, I am really excited about the backup vocals on “Bottomline”, the overall driving analog sound of Loren‘s Tempest throughout our live set.
Tell us about the mix you’ve done for The Jupiter Room.
The first track would be the world premiere of our track “Rosary”, not available till our May 24th release. The mix is all of the bands I have downloaded from Bandcamp that we are performing with on our west coast and UK tours, along with 3 from LUCKYANDLOVE. We had a soft release also of “Summertime Frolic” with Jammerzine, and it’s also in the mix, as well as “You’ll Never Know” from our first debut LP, self-titled Lucky+Love. This entire mix runs the spectrum, starting with some darkwave, moving into some ambient and going full speed into new synthwave and then on to a remix of B-Movie, a couple covers by Calico Sky, The Department and adding some psyche wave with Chainsaw Rainbow moving into some more Depeche Mode sounding dark wave again with Vain Machine.
What’s next for Lucky & Love?
Well after our US tour in April and our record release May 24th and our UK tour in June, we will be ready to work on an EP that we had to put on hold that we wanted to do with John Fryer.
If you could make music history, how would you do it?
Oh wow, that’s a really good question. I’d say if you get a hold of the record and listen to the lyrics of “Bottomline” you’ll get a pretty good idea of music could quite possibly inspire a revolution.
Many thanks, April.
This show was broadcast on Thursday 28th March 2019 on Fourculture Radio.