I know this is corny as hell, even before I type the words. It’s such a schlubby, 1970s, rock writer thing to say before diving in on the greatness of like, Warren Zevon or Jackson Browne. But… it’s true. I’m a lyrics guy.
People scan massive torrents of songs looking for the immediate connection of a hook, certain bpms or a chorus that you scream along with until you go hoarse. Those things can be perfect, but for me, it’s rib cracking impact when a writer finds the words that just fucking wreck me.
The words Robert Loveless puts to tape amble precariously, but always with purpose. What could be misconstrued as stream of consciousness - moments of clarity somehow escaping the imprisonment of drunken ramblings - is more like beat poetry. The pacing and delivery are so natural, we get fooled into thinking these verses are casual afterthoughts; an accident of sorts rather than ability.
There’s almost too many river banks to prospect here (13 releases to date), but this is a good start for your exploration. Even a cursory listen show that Loveless, regardless of success or comfort, refuses to stagnate sonically. In just over a year, he’s hurled Dylan-like thunderbolts (Moon Slave) from above and magically appeared out of an experimental fog (Rima). He’s masked a love for pop with warbled soul and cleverly offered an appreciation for the past under glitchy melodies completely of the moment.
Most young artists, especially those so prolific and adventurous, simply can’t channel moments and emotion with such precision and consistency. Loveless has a natural charisma, the ability inspire as he share about himself and what he sees. When he sings, “you die, before you reach the shore / and that ain’t no metaphor”, I’m ready to challenge Loveless premonition and ultimately, myself. Willing to jump off the boat, start swimming to see if my body gives out before my feet can touch down.
Loveless left Halifax, shoving memories (and a staggering amount of songs that took shape or influence from Canada’s Ocean playground) into his bags. He was nice enough to connect our city with his melodies and laser-focused verses. Enjoy.
“Buried in Books” (From the EP Zugunruhe)
This song kinda represents what got me into music, mostly by the company I made it with. My first real band in Dartmouth, NS, we’d smoke weed in the woods and then run back to my parents basement and jam for 3 hours straight then try to consolidate that down to song. (Ask the Ivory Tusks) This is all the same peeps playing together on these two songs. It felt like a throwback to that care-free era.
The cover art of Eternal Cigarette is a photo of Long Lake, which I missed a lot this summer. It’s a grandiose lake with islands you can swim to and it’s only accessible by hiking through the woods. The further you hike, the more secluded you can get.
“I just didn’t wanna sleep in the woods man but she was nice and all”
“I just didn’t wanna sleep in the woods man but she was nice and all” is a quote I overheard from me and Jo’s favourite busker who we secretly called “bald Bob Dylan” or “Bob Bob Dylan.” He played some great Dylan covers and was usually chilling on the corner of Queen St and Spring Garden Rd. Give him a moment if you see him.
This one begins with two stories from my childhood house that really stuck with me. We had a woods in the backyard with a gravel walkway type of thing where I spent many-a days. Shout outs to Domino my old dog and the three sunflowers in my old Josephine Court backyard.
Robert Loveless & The Loveless Band
I can’t really get specific with any of these songs, but wrote almost all them at my Fern Lane pad in a dingy basement that probably took a year off my life from spending so much time down there. Had some fun jams there, though. I loved recording this at Echo Chamber in a one night stint with Charles Austin and Harley Alexander.
“Separation of Life and Love” (From the album Moon Slave)
My attempt of having a “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” long ending song. Kinda failed. I didn’t even make it too the 10 minute mark. Oh well, I tried. I rehashed and recited and honed these lyrics for a few months walking to work on Citadel Hill. Good place to sneak a beer, too. Though that’s no longer much of worry where I am living currently. The sneaky bit, I mean.
“Fingers Crossed Meditation Blues” (From the EP Idealizes)
I wrote this song differently than any other song. It came as a concept from listening to Albert King’s Blues Power album. I quote “and would you believe I invented blues power?” alongside this drumbeat idea my friend made and recorded for me on my other friend’s new electronic drum set. I mulled it over, then went to Starbucks in the Hydrostone for some odd reason. I should’ve gone to Java Blend or Steve-o-reno’s. I scoured YouTube for Om meditations and recorded them on to my sampler right then and there. I combined them together and used Wave Labs to pitch it into a blues progression (albeit slightly skewed), paired them on the drum beat and went from there. The guitar solo is my fav part, and my only song with a guitar solo (yet).