THE LOVETONES – Myriad

Cleopatra 2020

THE LOVETONES –
Myriad

Most welcome return of Aussie pop-rockers who wear the signs of pain and pleasure on their sleeve.

“We were lost for a moment,” sang Matthew J. Tow in 2010, sending positive vibes via what seemed like a desperate sentiment, yet THE LOVETONES leader couldn’t predict that his ensemble’s hiatus was to last an entire decade: despite occasional live appearances and 2015 reunion, they didn’t produce anything new for a long time. Still, this cannot be the only reason why “Myriad” feels like a whiff of fresh air, even though its half-hour of tonic, intoxicating tunes reference the ’60s innocence to a lesser extent than the group’s previous efforts. The record’s secret is rooted in staying true to yourself, as penultimate cut “Walk Away” posits, and in melodies sounding so familiar as if they were planted in the listener subconscious and waited for the wizards of Oz to awaken dormant memories.

Tow’s twelve strings lulling the Byrdsian edge in “Rescue” may be the only overt occurrence here of direct dredging of the past, but it’s a natural defense nowadays, and the lysergically heavy “Modern Life Is Killing Me” says, or rather moans, as much. Anyway, the warm glow of “About The Girl” serves as an antidote to the slider-caressed sadness, the ballad’s orchestral uplift blooming into bittersweet beauty – a precursor to “Everything You’ve Ever Had” where honeyed regret will reign supreme. So while nostalgia oozes out of stately opener “The Circle Turns” whose solemnity is stoked with piano and eroded once guitar sparks start to bounce off communal choruses and light the sonic space, the bass-bubbled shuffle in “The Milkman Of Human Kindness” dispels the emotional mist which clouded the album’s onset.

Yet it’s the magical ripples of “I’ll Never Be That Guy” that transform remorse into optimism and help crystallize the record’s glass heart – fragile, if insistently hopeful core of the Aussies’ oeuvre. They could have been lost for ten years, but the ensemble found themselves in a very good place now.

*****

May 18, 2020

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