Indie rockers The Love Ways have been working on their second EP, Vacant Years, for nearly a year. They released their first one, Every Night, in May of 2013; this time around, the quintet worked with sought-after producer Kevin McMahaon, the man behind the curtain for Brooklyn-based Titus Andronicus, Real Estate, et. al.
B+B sat down with The Love Ways’ lead singer James Langlois, who lives at the Ridgewood/Bushwick border, to ask some questions about the new album, and how the guys have been getting on. Above, for your listening and viewing pleasure, we’re excited to premiere “Avalanche Kids,” the new single and video from Vacant Years, out July 22.
A lot of the stuff on this EP, lyrically at least, is about a rather rocky year I had relationship-wise. I just got out of an extremely long relationship, and the “Vacant Years” part is attempting to characterize a cocktail of new thoughts and old experiences, the feeling of coming out of a really long relationship and moving on past that and moving from vacancy to engagement and agency. A lot of the lyrics are sort of cathartic expression of my feelings from the past year or so.
Vacant Years EP Trailer
With Every Night, we had those three songs for a long time, and they were all written by our guitarist John. They all had a very similar form, and a kind of straight-ahead rock form, but now we like to think we’re branching out a little bit more in style.
And the production was a lot different this time, because instead of doing a really quick one-and-done thing, we did a slightly more involved production process with Kevin McMahon, who was our producer, and who we really wanted to work with so badly. He’s produced a bunch of our favorite bands: the Walkmen, and more recently Titus Andronicus, Real Estate, and Lost Boy. Those are all big bands for us, so we were super excited to work with Kevin.
Probably the really ungraceful process of drilling down into the songs and refining them. The end product of that is one of my favorite things, but the actual process itself is just like a fucking boxing match. We all get along really well, we’re all really good friends, but when it comes to music, we all have our secret agendas and we’re all trying to push what we want to make it a better song. So we butt heads a lot as far as that goes, but then it’s very rewarding and fruitful.
Seeing the metamorphosis of the songs, especially in the run-up to recording. We’ve been playing songs live, and they’ve been going through a bunch of different iterations. And then the month leading up to recording we really went really crazy locking down all the details in every single song. So that part can be arduous, but once you get past that and all the wheeling and dealing, and all of us back-stabbing each other to get what we want from the song, once you get past all that shit, the end product is so fun to see.
Do you anticipate putting out an LP?
Yeah, definitely. We have more than an LP’s worth of songs that we think are LP-worthy, but we just have been really trying to hone what we have, playing a lot of shows. And then hopefully in the next year or two we’ll put out something much bigger. But I would love to put out an LP as soon as possible.
The Love Ways Upcoming Shows:
Pianos, Lower East Side, Saturday, July 26 at 9 p.m., $10 (EP Release Show)
Silent Barn, Bushwick, Tuesday, August 19 at 9 p.m., tickets TBA (with Chimes, Lost Boy, The Veda Rays)