I’m a complete sucker for these guys, specifically the bi-polar projection of vocalist Josephine Olausson’s cutesy pop against the band’s art punk racket. I love how lyrically they don’t stray too far from the trials and tribulation of love in your late twenties. I love the artwork that each record presents; an old fashion cut and paste job with an X-Acto knife and retro fashion photography.
It’s been three years since Love Is All released their debut Nine Times The Same Song, but you’d think it’s been three weeks judging by the sounds of things. The drums are a little fatter and there’s a bit more depth to the rest of the band thanks to some updated production. But aside from these minor advancements, there are more similarities to the first than differences, all compressed into an efficient half-hour package of love’s trials and tribulations.
Perhaps the most notable difference is with the way vocalist Josephine Olausson handles the topic. Whereas Nine Times The Same Song celebrates the internal narcotics that love creates, their latest, A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night, works out the harsh realities of it. That empty feeling after the break-up. The bad choices you make during closing time. The resentment you feel when forced to witness couples in their own love haze while you’re solo. And all of this moping is done with Love Is All’s business-as-usual giddiness over a veritable floor of danceable rhythms.
Love Is All knows a lot about the vicissitudes of love. “Make out! Fall out! Make up! Fall out!” is a line from one of their best songs from 2005’s Nine Times The Same Song, one that details the rollercoaster effect that love has on each of us. No matter how far we crash, love has such a short memory that we tend to forget those low points as we pine for the uplifting feeling that it provides us.
“We came all the way from Gothenburg, Sweden to be here tonight,” announced vocalist Josephine Olausson about three songs into the set before a small crowd of a few dozen people. You could tell by the small attendance that her claim was fabricated, and one only needed to look the map to know that this Swedish quintet did not fly half-way across the globe to be in Rock Island, Illinois on a Saturday night.