As we’re reluctantly enjoying the last remnants of warm weather and the sunshine increasingly loses its bite, it’s a reminder that winter is lurking and summer is slipping away. It’s an interesting time to release the second album from Melbourne four-piece Love Connection, particularly as their blend of jangly guitar pop really taps into those loose lazy carefree emotions that summer seems to bring. Their music is slight and breezy, brimming with a hazy psychedelic warmth. Hearing it now seems to exacerbate the feelings of loss, imbuing the music with a certain woozy melancholia.
Organ is prominent, and the vocals are democratically mixed back down within the instrumentation. Initially this is off putting as we’ve been conditioned to expect vocals up front, yet it really works for Euphoria, enhancing the feeling of losing connection with your senses that certain days of summer combined with herbal or chemical intervention often bring. Of course deciphering the lyrics is near impossible, and the vocals come off like loose ramshackle wails or inebriated sing-along’s, yet they’re never harsh or ill fitting and in fact often take the role of another instrument, regularly providing the melodic hook to the songs.
These guys are clearly in thrall of 60’s psychedlia, though they seem to separate themselves via a clear love of jamming out a melodic idea to it’s full potential and then perhaps even a little further, and in this sense they bring to mind mid 90’s shoegazers like Ride or Slowdive.
The album’s centrepoint is also its biggest departure, a twenty-minute synth driven ambient electronic piece called Euphoria. It’s what makes this album great, that after 10 tracks of hypnotic jangly pop they unexpectedly launch into an opus that would make Tangerine Dream proud.
From the album cover, to the mix decisions, to the title track to even the release date, Euphoria is a bold artistic statement brimming with joyous pop hooks.
Bob Baker Fish