We like to wear funny things in the dark, and when it’s light, we get loose. We shuffle our stomachs and punch our fists to the intoxicating beat. Oh yeah, baby. MHHMMM. Yaaaaaah.
Certain words or phrases in music often seem inextricably linked to specific context. Time inevitably morphs meaning, but sub-genre names, unique song titles, locales, for example, can become wedded to particular ideas in ways that color and create assumption–sometimes detrimentally so.
Concept in action: When Love You To’s “Club Banger” hit my inbox, I immediately wrote it off in my head as played out hip-hop or stale electro. Circumstance led me to open the e-mail instead of deleting: It was only one of three in my inbox, the subject was “Hey Jon” (so this emailer had already shown he or she was addressing me directly and had proven capable of spelling my name correctly–always a big win) and the band’s name–with its playful, curious use of “To” instead of “Too”– seemed an odd fit for a song called “Club Banger.”
After a brief exchange with band member Teyler, I learned the following:
“The project started after a drunken conversation in a nightclub in January, and since then we have built up 8 members, released two albums, done two South Island Tours and spent some time in the Indie radio charts. We originally wanted to make Indian Dance Music (Brian Jonestown Massacre – Aufhebenesque) but have since set out to encapsulate all our favourite types of music, from The Mamas and the Papas to Primal Scream.“
The band’s Facebook page only added to the intrigue with an about section that, whether true or not, is wonderful:
“We all entered X-Factor as individuals, but the judges saw potential in us as a band, so the band was formed. The judges were then disappointed that our songs proved to have no commercial potential, so we all took some pills (and got fucked up).“
Love You To describe their music as “exotic psychedelic disco acid-house” and, listening to “Club Banger,” that’s an entirely accurate, if hyper-specific, subgenre. It’s the sort of song you might hear in a club scene in a film like Trainspotting, music that makes you think, if however briefly, “god taking drugs in a dingy, strobe-lit London club looks like massive fun!” “Club Banger” snakes from one section to another, taking root in the influence of Madchester’s signature stomping combination of psychedelia, rock, and dance music, riding its funky bassline and fuzzy vocals through enough surprises during its six minute run time to keep things fresh. In an alternate universe, it is the feel good hit of the summer and we are all actors in a tragicomic British movie about heroin. But none of us die.
Listen to “Club Banger” below and please don’t do drugs. But do dig into the rest of Love You To’s catalog if you like the song.