From their simple moniker to the small hearts that appear on their website when one drags the cursor arrow, Loving is the living and breathing embodiment of the word. The band consisting of David Parry and Jesse Henderson proved as such when they stepped out with 2016’s self-titled EP and chased it with their debut full-length If I Am Only My Thoughts four years later. It didn’t seem possible that the duo could sound any more harmonious than they did on that record—but on their sophomore affair, they magically do. For a band that started as a remote project, with the members split between Victoria and Toronto, Loving have fully blossomed into their own on Any Light.
It’s no wonder that Loving decided to release “No Mast” as a teaser ahead of their second outing: Henderson has said it was inspired by James Hollis’ relationship guide The Eden Project: In Search of the Magical Other, a book which revolves around the psychological aspects of—you guessed it—love. In addition to those Jungian themes, the band also turned to external sources ranging from poetry to voice memos for other subject matter on this soft and breezy record. In fact, it’s so relaxed and free of drama that its hypnagogic ease could be mistaken for folk music, with fade-outs, gentle pacing, and an overall sound that calls Nick Drake to mind. Even so, Any Light feels completely severed from personal torment or even sadness.
“When I first met you / Time was measured / By the moon / On your body / Oh so blue / Oh so blue / The eyes I’ve made a practice / Staring into,” Henderson sings on the last track and second single, “Blue.” All the while, multi-instrumentalist Parry complements his performances with strokes of the slide guitar that have the same comforting effect as a parent tucking a child into bed. While some have classified Loving as a psychedelic folk band, there’s no case to be made for that term on this, a fully present record that slowly unfurls like a flower after sunrise.