a LOVE LOVE story…
After you spend a lifetime writing songs and playing in rock bands, and taking time out to raise a family, perhaps you should just be content indulging your “hobby” on weekends, occasionally pulling out your guitar from under the bed to entertain friends with well-worn classics or nostalgia-soaked pleasers. Maybe that’s what you’re supposed to do.
But Chris Toppin and Jefferson Davis Riordan just couldn’t do that. Not after meeting each other anyway. Realizing an immediate and extraordinary chemistry, the two friends and sometime bandmates set about writing some of the best material of their careers, working first in Chris’s basement and then, eventually, in their own studio. Along the way they became more than friends, and the band they created, LOVE LOVE, became the story of their own unfolding love: wonderful, turbulent, problematic, magical. They were both married (to other people) and they both had children. Initially they resisted, but as Chris likes to say, eventually “the universe had its way,” and they were pulled into each other.
LOVE LOVE and its eponymous debut album is a lush, often darkly passionate mix of vocal-and-lyric-driven ’60s and ’70s-inspired rock, with two lead voices blending beautifully. The band’s name reflects their musical inspirations, as well as the dualistic notion of love as both a saving grace and a dark passion. When pressed for style and genre, Toppin and Riordan say simply, “It’s rock.” But it is the undeniable blend of their two voices that distinguishes them. That, and their songwriting. “Both have serious writing chops,” writes Jed Gottlieb of the Boston Herald. Unlike many of their musical generation, Riordan and Toppin are not comfortable simply reeling in the years. Though fond of their youthful, angst-fueled days, they are comfortable in their own skins and are very happy producing a more mature and complex version of their alt/indie ethos.
This is “not your father’s indie-rock,” writes Francis DiMenno of The Noise. Sitting nicely with acts like The Head and the Heart, The Lumineers, and Neil Young, LOVE LOVE also has an experimental side, as well as the determination to just write the best songs possible, whatever they may be. “Hits and risks, that’s our motto,” says Riordan.
They are fond of reflective love songs and murder ballads—“intricate storytelling…something for any listener,” writes Performer Magazine; “a captivating folk storytelling style,” says Twangville.com. But they also have a fun, playful side, as well as an undeniable desire to rock! The core of the band is Riordan and Toppin, along with their guitarist Darren Ray. This version of the group is dynamic in its own right. But when the full LOVE LOVE is unfolded (which includes a horn section and occasional pedal steel), the scope of their writing and arranging capacity is realized.
LOVE LOVE has produced two videos, as well as a six-song EP. This full-length release, recorded in Boston, U.S.A., at Q-Division Studios and Squid Hell Studios, represents their full sound and potential. They perform regularly at clubs and festivals, and are attracting the attention of industry execs and music lovers alike.
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