New York City is a place that’s at its best when it’s at its worst.

The urban decay of the 70’s unleashed a musical explosion that still reverberates nearly half a century later. Post-pandemic Manhattan vibes New York City is a place that’s at its best when it’s at its worst. The urban decay of the 70’s unleashed a musical explosion that still reverberates nearly half a century later. Post-pandemic Manhattan vibes volatile again. The raw power of punk and the sonic blur of post-punk are back in full force in Souls and the Barren Heart, the new record from Love Crushed Velvet.

New York Rock is less about category and all about energy. It hovers above genre, like Warhol’s silver helium balloons, reflecting the city below – glamorous and dangerous.

Love Crushed Velvet is the creative vision of frontman / songwriter A.L.X. He’s a regionalist, believing in the power of varied music scenes, assembling different bands for different records. Yet, even when recording in Nashville – the songs may smell like rye whiskey, but they sound like New York. It’s not a genre; it’s an attitude.

‘Is it the way we talk?                                                                                                                                     Is it the way we walk?                                                                                                                                   Is it the way we fight?                                                                                                                                   In silence at night…’

The new record Souls and the Barren Heart is a collection of taut, visceral songs powered by the tension between classic and modern, between distortion and melody, between the power of the past and the allure of the new:

‘Baby let’s go                                                                                                                                                     To the future                                                                                                                                            Where there’s beauty and light and forgiveness                                                                                        Surrounding me…’

A.L.X.’s creative process involves assembling musicians and tapping into the power of a scene. Improvising, revising, consolidating – an organic approach that retains the spark of late night jams, of a musical rapport forming in real time. It’s about musicians pulling something together that works.

LCV‘s 2010 debut featured Thommy Price on drums (Joan Jett, Billy Idol, Scandal), as well as several producers: Roger Greenawalt (Iggy Pop, Ric Ocasek), Brian McGee (engineer for the Rolling Stones and Bryan Ferry, producer of Cyndi Lauper), trip-hop gaming soundtrack producer Darren Korb.  The final tracks were mixed by David Bascombe (Depeche Mode, Genesis, Kyle Minogue, among others).  Delusions, the follow-up EP, was produced by David Maurice (Azalea Banks, Psychedelic Furs).

‘Free of our hopes                                                                                                                                      Free of our tears                                                                                                                                                Free of the gods                                                                                                                                          And demons we fear’

The new album sprang from spontaneity, and even in its polished form that energy comes through. Once again, a fierce group of players has been assembled under producer David Maurice. Australian drummer Alex Carapetis (Julian Casablancas, Nine Inch Nails) anchors the group. Rob Ritchie and Erik Deutsch shape the textures on guitar and Keyboards.

‘Free of TV

Free of the news

Free of the church

Free of its rules’

More than influences or even instrumentation, this is music fueled by the untamed chaos of urban life, by passion over precision. While the textures and colors of the music have shifted from record to record, A.L.X.’s hypnotic vocals are the through-line connecting the body of work as a whole:

‘Let me take you somewhere

Let me take you somewhere further than here

Let me take you somewhere’

Love Crushed Velvet – ‘Souls and the Barren Heart.’

 

Past, present and future, condensed into 8 fierce songs. The sound of the city, in all its gritty glory.