Love X Stereo have been pushing themselves like no other band this year, with the ambitious project ‘37’ which is being made with the support of patrons through a crowdfunding platform. They’ve reached the next milestone with the release of 37B! We briefly mentioned the project in an earlier review article about the alternative electro duo (if you are interested in listening to more of our recommendations from Love X Stereo’s back catalogue, click here to be redirected to that article).
We also quickly want to mention a compilation album project that they are in the process of making – this is in collaboration with 8 other K-indie bands and is inspired by the Winter Olympics which will be hosted in Pyeongchang in 2018 (watch the promotional video for it here). It is possible for international fans to donate via Paypal by sending $25 (the equivalent of around ₤19) to Love X Stereo’s Paypal account. This means that you will get the physical CD posted to you in February! Remember to email your name and address to them at [email protected] too. Collection of funding ends on 10th December so get your pre-orders in quick!
Love X Stereo have always had a long-term dream, and that is to become an international band. They want to be known and play all over the world, and you can really feel that they want truly want it by how proactive they are. It’s one thing to state a goal, and another to be brave enough to step towards it. They’ve always been more accessible compared to other indie groups too, and that does make a difference when it comes to gaining international fans. Their music is available on several major music platforms so there is no excuse not to support! Hopefully their actions now will pave the way to greater attention because their amazing music does need to be heard! We may be featuring them again in future, watch this space 😉
They have already completed one album (37A) this year (our recommended tracks from that are in this review) and recently released the next one, titled ‘37B’ on the 30th November! We had the pleasure of listening to ‘37B’ in its entirety and were extremely impressed! There is much to applaud about it; the overall sound they’ve created feels stronger and somewhat darker in parts of the album. We quickly got the impression that Annie and Toby have hit their stride with ‘37B’. Congratulations to them both on creating a collection of tracks that are very diverse and replayable! Scroll to the end of the article for purchasing links!
We particularly enjoyed several tracks which we would like to share and recommend to our Inspire Me Korea readers! Most songs have a basic MV (which is understandable given the time constraints) as promised to fans as part of the ‘37’ Patreon project. If you’d like to become a patron by contributing regularly in return for access to some exclusive rewards from Love X Stereo themselves, then you can sign up here.
37B review and track recommendations
Track 2, ‘A Revolution’ is one of the title tracks and it definitely packs a punch. A brooding yet strong introduction builds and hooks the listener in hypnotising fashion. The lyrics are intriguing here, “you just want to keep on runnin’ but soon you’ll disappear” and “they will never let you win, they’ll never tell you the truth, they just wanna leave you thinking that nothing has changed in you”. This darkwave track is a wonderful display of what Love X Stereo do best; the combination of rock and synth pop.
Le Grand Bleu
Moving onto track 3, ‘Le Grand Bleu’, which is dedicated to those who took their own lives and shines a light on suicide awareness. This is a simple yet touching song, and the repeated lyrics “you shouldn’t be alone, I’m gonna take you home” become comforting throughout the course of the track. The image of water is projected into our minds purely from the music alone, with the synth being softer and grander. Love X Stereo’s message for this track is “Reach out. Choose life. You’re not alone.” Very commendable indeed. ‘Le Grand Bleu’ was one of the tracks we’ve listened to a lot. We recommend it to our readers. Watch the full MV complete with lyrics below!
Getting back to atmospheric and dramatic night time music, ‘Pulse’ is truly masterful. The bass line grounds Annie’s soaring vocals and the magic of the 90’s is captured nicely. As the song goes on it just gets better and better, reaching epic proportions. There are well placed instrumental sections too, giving the whole track room to breathe. We can’t say no to a synth instrumental! ‘Pulse’ is a definite favourite of ours from the album! Highly recommended.
We enjoyed ‘Thunder Kiss’ immensely, with its upbeat nature and overflowing positivity. Once again, there is strong writing within the lyrics and this track became our favourite from 37B from a lyrical point of view. “Life’s so exciting” sings Annie, “you always have that chance to run away.” The song also acknowledges the setbacks of life “it’s never easy to try when there’s no solution, it’s never easy to fly when there’s no inspiration” but ends with finding hope from a person “but then I heard your voice in the blink of an eye, all of a sudden you came and now I realise.”
Deeper than the dark
Melancholy and pain is portrayed well in ‘Deeper than the dark’, a lament to mark the end of a relationship. Simple but effective, the highlight of this track mainly comes from Annie’s delivery, especially during the verses where that voice of hers quivers with an element of fragility. The little breaks of guitar from Toby are a nice touch too. The track never feels subdued though, the synthesizers shimmer and give the whole thing an injection of energy during key places. Nicely done.
Love X Stereo even come up with their own portmanteau for the album with ‘Instalove’, their other title track. Musically intricate, we loved the major-minor transitions, the rock edge to the song and the gradual crescendos. The guitar is a definite highlight here, and the angst and anger in the track come through. We felt ‘Instalove’ became more and more interesting the more we listened to it, always a good sign!
We finish with ‘Slipping Away’, a fitting end to 37B. It shows Love X Stereo can create anthemic and grand songs, fitting for a large stage. The song was inspired by the artwork of Diren Lee, who often bases her designs on animals. Love X Stereo express the plight of polar bears, creating a message from their perspective in the lyrics. The result is a wonderful spectacle, and a beautiful harmony is produced from lyrics and melody, even though the lyrics are somewhat dark and the notes wholly uplifting. The song bursts to life when Annie kicks into her higher range, the tempo cranks up a notch and the words become quickfire. That urgency resonates in the message.
“Running day and night for a tiny bite,
Just to stay upright and to cry a thunder roar.
Don’t you dare deny for the sake of life,
Cause it’s do or die and it’s me in the bloody snow.”
What a highlight to round off the album! Definite thumbs up from us!
What an album! A triumph from Annie and Toby – there is so much that they got right with 37B. The array of songs is an amazing display of what they are capable of, a balance of what they’ve always done best and some experimentation that demonstrates further development. That which inspires them and their love of music from the 90’s shines through. You never feel that they rushed any one of these tracks despite being under some pressure to write and deliver music for their fan-funded project. That in itself is an amazing feat. This album is an intimate and personal one, which to us, is always a key part of great music. Who better to express a feeling that the people who’ve experienced it themselves. Love X Stereo, we salute you for creating an excellent piece of work.
It will come as no surprise that we encourage you to buy the album! It is available to purchase through iTunes, and you can stream on apple music or Spotify. You can also listen to some tracks on Soundcloud and watch more MVs on their official YouTube channel.
Follow Love X Stereo’s activities with their social media links here:
Official website: http://lovexstereo.com/
Featured image source: © Love X Stereo. 37B album artwork. 30.11.2017. All rights reserved. Image was provided directly from Love X Stereo for use in this article and should not be reproduced without permission.
© Love X Stereo ’37B’ album review. 02.12.2017. Inspire Me Korea.