Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Calm Down” by The Love Language from the 2013 album Ruby Red on Merge.
Formed in Raleigh, NC, The Love Language is the project of singer/bandleader Stuart McLamb, whose romantic, hopeless or otherwise, songwriting has led the project’s evolution from a bedroom project to a fully-fledged group. McLamb’s first album under the moniker, the 2008 self-titled LP, was recorded primarily by himself and became a local critical success, which led to the formation of a live band and later signing to Merge for his second album, Libraries, which was recorded with the touring lineup. The group’s latest album, Ruby Red, was recorded over two years with a large cast of players augmenting McLamb’s Spector-esque vision for a larger, more sweeping statement. Despite the relaxed implications of its title, “Calm Down” is filled with a quiet storm-type energy. McLamb’s processed vocals echo across the layered production until the bright, orchestrated chorus elevates the song from a lushly arranged lo-fi jam into a fully-fledged, singalong-friendly song that wouldn’t sound out of place next to some of his labelmates.
The Love Language is on tour behind Ruby Red throughout the fall, but there aren’t any Northwestern dates on the docket right now. Keep an eye on their website and Facebook in case they announce more tour dates, and watch them play “Blue Angels” live on KEXP in 2010.