Love Songs, revisited5/7/2014
It was three Aprils ago now that I was first introduced to Love Songs For Lonely Monsters. The band had just played Gross Domestic Product, and when I spoke to its members for one of my first ever Sound articles, they were flush with excitement about the full-length album they were working on.
Fast forward two years, and LSFLM has finally released its self-titled debut. It’s been a long wait for one of Des Moines’ most popular indie-rock acts. And, while a wait of that length is always frustrating for the people involved, Love Songs feels like everything worked out for the best.
“We had to find the right studio,” said drummer Brian Gellerman. “We had to find the right opportunity to make it happen. That’s really what it came down to.”
Fans will always have some level of expectation for a new album. The longer it takes to satisfy a fan base’s craving, the higher those expectations tend to climb. So, after two years, there was concern that nothing Love Songs put out could possibly measure up. But Love Songs’ LP has received almost universal critical praise and has been adored by fans.
“The reception was fantastic,” agreed front woman Amy Badger. “It was really exciting that people said so many nice things. It was a lot of hard work.”
It’s work that’s been made longer by internal changes. Founding guitarist Justin Niceswanger left the band last year and was replaced by Kevin Neal, which forced the band to slow down a bit and walk its new guitarist through its existing material. Now, this week’s show will be Neal’s last with the act. Love Songs already has a new guitarist in the wings, and while there will be another growing period ahead, the band’s approaching it differently this time.
“I’m sure a lot of people are coming to our shows and — I’m not going to say they’re sick of them, but they’ve been coming out and hearing the same 45-minute set,” said bassist Chris Lachky. “So our focus with (the new guitarist) for the first few practices has been, ‘lets get this new stuff learned.’ We can pick up the old stuff as we go along.”
And there’s plenty of new stuff. The band says that it’s written another LP worth of songs and is itching to have them heard.
It might not even take another two years. CV
Chad Taylor is an award-winning news journalist and music writer from Des Moines.