Lovers of Fiction are a four piece alternative rock/pop band hailing from Portland, Maine. They were formed in an unusual way, when classical composer and University music theory professor Dan Sonenburg decided to ask three of his students to form a band with him. They released a critically acclaimed three song EP, The Bear, in 2013 and are due to release their debut album this year.
This double A-side single (nice to know bands still release those!) is a taster of their forthcoming album, and both songs certainly merit A-side status. Their music shows traces of many influences such as Roxy Music and David Bowie, and they have an operatic/progressive element that lifts it outside of your usual rock/pop. All four members are excellent musicians, and all multi-instrumentalists.
So Simple is the more straightforward of the two songs, an upbeat piece of melodic rock with a 60’s vibe to the songwriting. What strikes you immediately is the musical chemistry, with Keith Moon-style drumming and rubber-band bass playing forming a great rhythm section, over which chugging guitars and quirky keyboards fill out the sound.
Vocally, Sonenburg sounds like an American Bryan ferry, backed up by some nice harmonies. The lyrics are romantic but not in any clichéd way, and it makes for a perfect sugar rush of a pop song with an alternative edge.
Another Song, written by guitarist Jimmy Dority, shows their musical ambition and range as it has a sense of almost operatic grandeur that you’d compare with a band like Queen. It features a verse in 5/4 and a chorus in 6/8, constantly shifting and unpredictable chord changes that are almost Wagnerian and bursts of brilliant Brian May-esque lead guitar (from Dority and Mark Dennis). Somehow, this all hangs together and makes for a thrilling listen.
Overall, these two superb songs showcase a very gifted group who have the ambition to stretch the musical boundaries of the three/four minute song and the talent to pull it off. The whole band are pulling in the same direction and play for the song, despite their obvious virtuosity. Lovers of Fiction are one of the best bands I’ve heard for some time, and I can’t wait to hear their album.