The Love Language's first album is a fantastic record, but you were never supposed to hear it.
Stuart McLamb wrote and recorded The Love Language in a Chapel Hill, North Carolina storage space after splitting from his girlfriend. Its nine songs were alternately heartbreaking and manic, propelled by McLamb's vocals which, despite -- or perhaps because of -- their rough and unpolished sound, cut straight to the bone.
McLamb shared the album with friends, who shared it with their friends, and before long it reached the ears of Raleigh band the Rosebuds, who offered to be McLamb's backing band. The group hit the road, and within a year they were signed to indie mega-label Merge Records.
The Love Language just released their sophomore album, Libraries, in July, and it's clear that the band had a much bigger budget this time around. Libraries adds epic string arrangements and crisp production to the band's palette, but still retains McLamb's trademark, naked delivery. The result is a unique mix of lush sounds and prickly emotion that smooths out the rough edges without dulling them.
The band will bring their newfound sound to the Belly Up on September 19th, where they'll play alongside LA's Local Natives. Anyone who has seen Local Natives can attest that the band puts on a terrific show, thanks to some Talking Heads-inspired rhythms and gigantic harmonies. Much like the Love Language, Local Natives have enjoyed scads of recent success, thanks in no small part to their critically-acclaimed debut, Gorilla Manor.