Loveshadow’s sophomore album II is out now via Dark Entries.
Two of our favorite DJs / musicians from the Bay Area, Anya Prisk and Izaak Schlossman make up the DIY pop outfit Loveshadow. Fans of Music from Memory will remember the duo’s breakthrough self-titled LP from 2021 which explored euphoric avant-pop and balearic downtempo while connecting various strains of ’80s dance music. Across eight tracks, Anya (vocals, songwriting) & Izaak (synth, bass, production) deftly recalled greats like Kate Bush, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Elizabeth Fraser, and various lost post-punk and single-release dance acts, while simultaneously crafting a musical world that was uniquely their own. We’ve been big fans ever since and have been patiently waiting to hear more… In a mix interview with MFM, the duo described their approach:
LS: “Loveshadow is kind of a lap around the 80’s prehistory of today’s dance music, when things were still firmly rooted in pop songwriting but had a simultaneously psychedelic and funky sensibility- one that grew out of dub/disco/punk counterculture.”
Loveshadow’s sophomore album II was released this past week on Josh Cheon’s beloved Bay Area imprint Dark Entries. A perfect match for the label’s ‘80s synthesizer-based sounds, II continues on the nostalgic synth-pop of the duo’s debut with a slightly tougher and at times colder electronic sound compared to the balearic beat of the first album. If Loveshadow’s debut was spring/summer, then II takes us through fall and deep into the heart of winter.
Opener “Last Room” kicks things off with some trippy reverse electronics that reminds us of the intro to The System’s “Find It In Your Eyes” before quickly landing on a hard-hitting Roland 707 groove and low-slung synth bassline. The track is immediately body movement inducing and somehow also has a sort of underlying reggae feel to it. Checks all the boxes for us here at In Sheep’s Clothing! “Winter’s Door” has the sort of lyrical sophistication and deeply infectious melody that fans of Ryuichi Sakamoto and David Sylvian’s collaborations in the ’80s will surely love. “Mirage” recalls Yumi Murata’s “Face to Face” with its operatic tones and spoken vocals. Across the entire album, Izaak’s production and Anya’s storytelling build lush, imagined worlds…
turned your face away once more furthest star from anyone could this be the curtain call? and this one hurt the most telling how the evening goes the subtle brush, a whispered prose faintest signals bloom in full as i carry you home
Anya: “Featuring former Talk Talk members Lee Harris and Paul Webb, .O.range rides in on an atmospheric wave unlike any other. So much of our music, particularly “Mirage” of this upcoming record is so influenced by worlds that Talk Talk (Mark Hollis!) and .O.rang created.”
Randell & Schippers – Love Jam (1991)
Anya: “Where to start with this track? An opus of shining, theatric oddball romantic pop in the tradition of Prefab Sprout. Equal parts camp and heart wrenching- “Love Jam” seems to embody the feeling of a heavenly last dance in some forgotten disco – a vibe we try to chase in our music. The build and overall structure of this song is really inspiring – it certainly takes on an entirely new form as it seems to continue endlessly.”
Claire Hamill – In the Palm of my Hand (1983)
Anya: “A legend of folk, rock and new age, Claire Hamill stands as a musical inspiration to us and so many “In the Palm of my Head” really swept both of us off our feet at first listen. This song seems to have it all – Hamill pairs her folky vocals and sharp lyrics with jazz dance balearic beat. This makes for a dreamy combination and a song that has gotten so much DJ play from both of us.”
Float Up CP – The Loneliest Girl (1985)
Izaak: “This tune gives me some of the same heavy feelings as my favorite tragic 80’s UK reggae records (and indeed was made by some of the same musicians!), but all the telltale signifiers of genre have been scrubbed enough away to leave only blurred inferences. what emerges is an exhilarating mix of the skeletal and ornamental, driven home by Neneh Cherry’s incredible vocal performance – a punky slow jam for the terminal wallflower set. I thought about the delicate balance of defiance and tenderness on display here often when we were writing our own music.”
Roland Und Die Dadadogs – Big Piece – Big Peace (1980)
Izaak: “Something of a Deutsch rock supergroup here going at full melancholic tilt, casting a discopilled, big-skied, solo Crosby-ish kind of groove. There’s something pained about the frantic solos that gleam wildly through the song’s second half, standing in stark contrast to the supercooled chug of the underlying rhythm. Together they cruise through parched, brutal landscapes, accelerating as they blast towards infinity. It doesn’t offer much in the way of context, but despite this comes off as remarkably vivid and cinematic – qualities I try to model when working on music with Anya.”