Wednesday, November 04, 2009

exlovers, complete live set in mp3, brighton

I first saw Exlovers in the spring of this year, playing with Younghusband and Emmy The Great, and noted then that they were a band worth keeping an eye on. In many ways their influences evident that night - ranging from Postcard pop to shoegaze - suit my tastes exactly, but my conclusion then was ultimately cautious - they looked and sounded, I thought, a touch under-nourished, lacking authority and only sporadically hitting full throttle. I know now that I caught them early in their career, so with that in mind I went to see them at The Hope, in Brighton, a couple of weeks ago, wondering if they'd improved.

My god, they absolutely have. From the first note their sound was more forceful, evocative and compelling. The influence of My Bloody Valentine is increasingly evident, rushing through the tender, melodic pop and creating a kind of coursing, joyful reverberation, a clashing of air. I always felt that this heavily emotional, yearning sound was very physical. Displacement music. They don't (that often) create a racket, and in fact much of the set is delicate, recalling Elliot Smith (although I later find out the band are Lemonheads fans - no wonder I love them), but the way they move up the registers, gliding through different volumes, hints at an instinctiveness which masks expertise.

Pete, their singer, is charismatic, gangly and ever-so-slightly detached, simultaneously towering and effeminate - and as such inevitably draws comparisons with that other famous Peter - Doherty. Laurel, who played glockenspiel last time I saw the band, has shorn her hair and stands instrumentless for the duration, acting as a second vocalist. Men seem to find it hard to drag their gaze away from her and back to her bandmates. All of whom, meanwhile, give a whole-hearted, animated showing - their lead guitarist taking every opportunity to hook his guitar sideways and reach down for a mouthful of beer. It's a well-judged, noisy, beautiful set - and I'm very glad to say that I took the opportunity to record it.

What follows, then, is a complete live recording of the band's performance. Right click and 'save target as' to save each song individually, or click here to download a zipped up folder of all eight tracks (which saves me bandwidth, so it's the preferred option - but it's up to you).

Eagle-eyed readers will spot there's a songs I don't know the name of. If you can help me fill in the blank it'd be much appreciated.

live at the Hope, Brighton
24th October 2009

1. A Moment That Keeps Repeating
2. Photobooth
3. You Forget So Easily
4. In The Woods With The Werewolf
5. Just A Silhouette
6. Unknown Title #2
7. You're So Quiet
8. Weightless

Here's a clip of the band playing 'You're So Quiet' on the same night - video by Dan (whose Youtube channel is here) and audio by me.

Some links:
- Exlovers on Myspace, on Facebook, and on Twitter.
- Read the lovely Emmy The Great interviewing the band, for Drowned in Sound.
- An Exlovers interview at Music Mule
- Another recent interview, courtesy of Comfort Comes.
- Exlovers interviewed for Female First
- And Thom Morgan interviews the band for There Goes The Fear.

And a bunch of reviews of 'You Forget So Easily':
(Sounds XP) (AtSounds) (Sound Junkie) (Noize) (Call Upon The Author) (TGTF) (Idiomag) (Glasswerk) (Breaking More Waves)

Forthcoming gigs
4th Nov 2009 Bodega, Nottingham
5th Nov 2009 Hare and Hounds, Birmingham
6th Nov 2009 Portland Arms, Cambridge
14th Nov 2009 Luminaire, London
29th Nov 2009 Lock Tavern, Camden, London

You Forget So Easily, 14 September 2009
Photobooth / Weightless 7", 06 April 2009
Just a Silhouette 7", 08 December 2008

Buy Exlovers records here, at Rough Trade.

Lastly - many thanks to the band and their manager Simon for giving me permission to post these tracks. Much appreciated. Thanks also to Brad over at Bradley's Almanac, who's been posting this sort of stuff for years and inspired me to start chronicling and posting live recordings of shows I go to. Following his lead, I recorded these songs with a (borrowed) MD player (thanks Dan) and a Sony ECM-719 mic. Hope you like them - any comments much appreciated.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this! You've really done a good job with the recording.

Kate said...

Woooo! Cool.

Any idea when the Exlovers LP is coming?