PREMIERE: The Love Language Return to the Ether with “Castle in the Sky”

Stuart McLamb’s raucous lo-fi experiment makes up for lost time with two minutes of heavy, blissed-out pop in anticipation of the forthcoming Baby Grand, out August 3 via Merge.

Coming up on the five year anniversary of The Love Language’s last LP, Stuart McLamb’s now LA-based noise pop project is finally announcing a follow-up: Baby Grand, which is slated for an August 3 release on Merge. Arriving on the now-distant heels of 2013’s uncharacteristically tidy collaborative effort Ruby Red, it appears McLamb has since become inspired by shoegaze and Miyazaki, as evidenced by the record’s lead single, the 120-mile-per-hour “Castle in the Sky.”

A return to cacophonous, overexposed form, “Castle in the Sky” opens in the deceptive guise of composure before erupting into an MBV riff at triple speed, per McLamb’s affinity for repurposing ’60s pop and acoustic balladry for a chaotic present. His citation of Joy Division and Cyndi Lauper as inspirations elsewhere on Baby Grand prove a surprisingly appropriate composite for “Castle”’s sugar-coated joyride through heartbreak: “I couldn’t spread my love the distance so I cut it with a knife,” sings McLamb on the sun-soaked track, which, surprisingly, was written before his road trip to the West Coast where the record was completed:

“‘Castle in the Sky’ was written a while back in 2013 or 2014 while I was living in a cottage with Tom (the drummer) off 15-501 between Chapel Hill and Durham; we were definitely out in the ‘woods.’ Musically, the initial demo was inspired by Misfits/Ramones, then the second demo was way more country. We ended up doing a rock version with Tom overplaying the hell out of the drum fills, and I love where we landed.”

Baby Grand is out August 3 on Merge. You can preorder it here.


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