In the Lover’s Corner
TROUBLE IN MIND
With engineering duties split between modern underground psych pillars Kelley Stoltz and Skygreen Leopards’ Glenn Donaldson and mastering by Teenage Fanclub frontman Norman Blake, The Love-Birds’ full-length debut, In the Lover’s Corner, arrives with impressive pop bona fides. The four-piece make great use of the support. They don’t break any new ground, but they don’t necessarily need to; they make the most of the format, churning out eleven tracks of urgent, upbeat psych-pop. Powered by catchy melodies, memorable hooks, and shimmering harmonies, you can almost feel the ever-elusive sunshine of their native San Francisco on your face.
Just as In the Lover’s Corner turns on a tried-and-true pop sound, so, too, does it utilize the familiar subject matter of romance, disappointment, and interrupted idyll. Less timeless is the aloof slacker sensibility espoused in the lyrics. Throughout, emotions are treated as an intrusion and dealing with them as a hindrance. “I couldn’t let this go if I wanted, I know / Why do I still make these plans? / I try to understand, but I hit my head in the shallows,” frontman Thomas Rubenstein sings on “Hit My Head.”
What can be asked of the power-pop format in 2018? Should it be a time capsule or should it address the classic condition of emotion in conflict? In the Lover’s Corner considers this question, and has a good time doing it.