For this month’s ChicagoVerseUniteD cover story, every day in January will preview a different local artist’s plans for 2011. Today: Loyal Divide!
Columbus, OH transplants Loyal Divide are easily one of the most touted bands here at CVU, and with good reason. In 2010, the electronic psych pop band played a steady supply of shows throughout their current home of Chicago while dropping a handful of singles online, like the rainy day melancholia of “Flights” and dubby, bleating “DDF,” both available for streaming or download below.
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There was also the video for “Vision Vision,” wherein the group donned stick figure body suits to act out a startlingly bleak tale of mass assault without mercy.
The only element absent was a full length album. That all changes, however, on March 1st, when Loyal Divide drop Bodice Ripper, the band’s debut record. An unsettling and eclectic listen, the moody offering finds Loyal Divide expanding upon and beyond its previously released material, as songwriter Adam Johnson explains to CVU.
“Bodice Ripper is an extension of the Labrador EP we put out a couple years ago” the artist/producer reveals. “Those songs have been remixed and reordered with eight new songs. The new songs are a love letter to all the music we’ve fallen in love with over the past two years. “Perv Fury” was made while under the spell of the Blade Runner soundtrack; “Near Native” was written in response to Sun O)))’s doom metal sludge; “New Years” puts an industrial spin on the worn-out Timbaland template. Whether or not these conceits are fresh is beside the point; we simply wanted to make an album about the music and artists we love with no regard to the politics of music criticism and its constant demand for innovation.”
In spite of the band’s lack of concern for innovation, Bodice Ripper succeeds partially due to its varied approach. Soundscape tracks like “Vein Harvester” balance out harsher terrain like “Young Blades,” while the shift-laden “Baladron” (MP3 lower in this article) shakes out a nasty groove based upon gradually building percussion and grinding guitars. The tracklist and art for the album is as follows.
Loyal Divide – Bodice Ripper
1. Young Blades
2. Vision Vision
3. Perv Fury
4. Vein Harvester
7. Near Native
9. New Years
13. Lover I Can Tell You
Loyal Divide perform live tonight at Chicago’s newly-opened electronic music hall The Mid, opening for Matthew Dear. Download the band’s discography to date via the group’s Bandcamp page, and check out Bodice Ripper single “Baladron” below, followed by the band’s Noto on the CVU podcast from August 2010. Look for more from Loyal Divide and Bodice Ripper here at CVU closer to the album’s release.
Loyal Divide – “Baladron”
CVU42: A Lull/Loyal Divide