Love&Reverie – Gravity&Me
It’s been well-over two years since Richmond natives Love&Reverie have put out new music and it’d be easy to say they’ve been going through some changes in that time. The band that used to constantly tour has slowed down & stayed grounded. The once-quintet is now a quartet with the loss of their second guitarist and addition of a new bass player. Shoot, for a band that released two EPs & one album in a year, a two-year down-time in new music is a big change. So with all this known, what would you expect from Gravity&Me, their new EP? Well, when I sat down to listen to it, I didn’t expect much. A five-song extended play that seemed to me to be a mild continuation of 2007’s impressive The Mapping. After two years, I was hoping for a bit more than that and with only five songs (two of which are alternate versions of songs off that album), it didn’t seem likely that I’d be getting something new. However, as “Think Gravity” began to play and that laid-back, ethereal melody began to ring in my ears, I realized that this wasn’t going to be a continuation, but rather an evolution of their sound on The Mapping.
It looks like the young band used those two years wisely as they have really started to perfect & buff out their act. Long criticized for having a great live show that just didn’t translate in the studio, it seems like the band has finally become comfortable enough to do just that. As singer Noah Skelton belts out “Alive, I’m Alive!” in “Money,” you just imagine him thrashing about next to his cohorts at a high point in the song. While it’s something the band’s been trying to capture for a while now, it’s not even the highlight of the small release. The alternate versions of “Machines” & “Patience” definitely show how polished & mature Love&Reverie have become. These aren’t your alternate versions with different bridge or verse. No, these are completely re-worked versions of already strong songs. In “Patience” alone, the piano glosses over the same guitar melody from the original, yet at the same pace, makes the same melody sound much more relaxed & meaningful giving Noah’s voice room to proficiently soar. But while Noah’s voice commands the new versions of “Patience” & “Machines,” it’s really the laid-back music that makes them stand out. Whether it’s a guitar strum at the exact right time or a cymbal crash that’s gone before you even realize, it shows some maturity from a band fully capable of just the opposite. This is the emotional trance the band’s name has promised me and that reverie is beautiful.
It may seem outlandish, but even with their smallest release, I think Love&Reverie has delivered their best work and has put their best foot forward. I was expecting just a listless continuation of their last album to tide over fans until the next release, but we got a great appetizer of an evolving sound that will no doubt blow people away when it’s fully explored in an album. Stronger than ever, they have an EP here that will surprise even their hardest critics. Increased maturity, improved musicianship, deliberate focus, & praiseworthy songwriting; in just five songs (and only three new), Love&Reverie shows us they’re ready to make their impact after two years off with Gravity&Me.
To read an interview with Love&Reverie about this EP & more, click here.