Will we ever learn to swim?


Once in a blue moon, a band comes around that is difficult to classify. The genre escapes the mind when listening to them, but yet it’s sonically and aesthetically pleasing. Enter the Love Language. Between their mix of folk-ish feel, along with pop and a sprinkling of ambient, the musical group is stamped with the label “Indie rock.”

With lo-fi recordings and soothing layers of instruments and mass delay and reverb, the Love Language, out of Raleigh, North Carolina, flooded T.T. the Bears with music on March 8.

The band rocked Central Square in Cambridge, bringing quite a stage presence with them. Opening with the track “Blue Angel,” the group built up the introduction with a melding of noise and delay before breaking into the track. From there on out, the audience knew what kind of performance they were in for.

Playing with headlining band Telekinesis!, the Love Language brought their A-game both performance-wise as well as musically. The performance was near identical to their recorded tracks, except with a few planned altercations made.

They played a mix of songs from their first, self-titled album and their newer album Libraries. Tracks like “Heart to Tell,” “Two Rabbits,” “This Blood is Our Own” and “Pedals” all got the crowd cheering as the small venue was filled with melodies.

What is perhaps the most interesting about the band’s musicality is their use of pedals and effects. Between the guitarist, BJ Burton’s, use of reverb and fuzz, and the keyboardist, Missy Thangs’, sustained notes, the music blends into one entity that becomes the song. All of it seems a little unorthodox for what the Love Language creates.

In an interview with Merge Records, the band’s label company, Stuart McLamb, the vocalist/lyricist and back up guitarist said, “The Love Language was never intended to be a band. Those songs were never intended to be for anyone except my ex-girlfriend. That was my outlet, and at one point, it caught fire.”

With songs about heart break and hitting bottom, the lyrics create an interesting contrast to some of the more upbeat melodies used.

“Lalita/ Don’t you hate these kisses?/ I know that we’re not in/ But we’re in love with everyone that is/ We’re talking/ Tiny conversations/ Like they’re harmless/ But you know that ain’t what you sell…” sang McLamb to the audience as the band played their track “Lalita.”

Although a little sad, the band’s presence definitely wasn’t. Between the bassist, Nick Sanborn, stepping up on the amp and grooving with the drummer, Jordan McLamb, who was using a maraca for a drumstick and the powerful vocals of McLamb, the stage was alive.

There is something about the classic, simple feel to the Love Language’s music that makes it so easy to listen to and so accessible. The lyrics are relatable and the chords are basic, but the combination of instruments, voices and layers of sound turn the band’s music into something much more. The group is beyond talented and it definitely showed on the small, wooden stage at T.T. the Bears. The setting was cramped, but intimate and the music was all that mattered. It was captivating, something that couldn’t be shut off, but you don’t want to shut off anyway. In the end, it comes down to this: “What’s the point of being free… these days in love?”