Monday, May 28, 2018

I Love You (Single) - Laureline

Laureline is a LA-based band consisting of members Ciera Bardowell (Vocals/Guitar), Marian Nutley (Bass), Chris Rasmussen (Vocals/Guitar), & Nico Hernandez (Drums). I knew Ciera and Marian during my time at Azusa Pacific University, and was able to witness their talent long before they came together with Chris and Nico to form this alternative-pop group.

The song, titled "I Love You", draws considerably from a similar sound pallet to The 1975 (which I confirmed was a definitely an inspiration for the band); a sort of dreamy sound, full of soft, echoing tones and smooth lines. It sounds like something you might listen to while driving by a nearly deserted beach; a place full of life yet peaceful, slowly moving, waves ebbing and flowing and creating a natural rhythm. It soars a bit, flowing from one part to the next, with each instrument adding their part without taking hold of the spotlight.

I'm always a fan of contrast, and the vocals do an excellent job of creating just that. The separation and coming together of Chris & Ciera's vocals is really beautiful, in an almost haunting manner. The harmonies on the chorus are absolutely stunning; their voices plus the ever so slight vocal distortion create a beauty tinged with sadness. The back and forth nature with Chris doing the first verse and Ciera doing the second verse adds more contrast, with the two verses feeling quite different just with the difference in their voices and styles. Their vocal interplay reminds me a bit of Of Monsters & Men; obviously in a different setting, but similar in the way that their voices work fantastically together and apart. The contrast doesn't end with there - the way in which the vocals and lyrics contrast with the instrumental is quite surprising. The track has a definite upbeat vibe to it, but the lyrics have a more wistful tone, a definite sadness that permeates the vocals and ever so slightly seeps into the instrumental. It's a contrast of a high and low, of love and sadness, that comes together in a really exceptional way.

The song clocks in at a little over 3:20 seconds, but feels like it's gone in a flash. The music draws you in, making you want more but finishing just before you feel like you're ready for it to end. Even as I listened to it, I found myself at the end of the song much quicker than I anticipated, not having made enough notes before the song comes to a close, and having to start it over again. It's fleeting, like a ghost, which I think fits perfectly with the ever so slight haunting vibe the song creates.

For a first single, this song feels incredibly well done. This is not a band still trying to form their identity or still trying to get their feet of the ground. This feels like radio-ready music, a band waiting for the right moment to burst forth and ride a wave into big spotlights. If you enjoy The 1975 or The Japanese House, you'll for sure want to check out this up & coming, very talented group of individuals.

Rating: 4.5/5

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