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LoveyDove wants to pull your heartstrings

Craftsmanship is key to impeccable, lush songs that aim for an uplifting sound.

November 08, 2013|By Jonny Whiteside
  • The musical duo LoveyDove, led by Azalia Snail and Dan West, bring an intricate brand of modern, underground pop to Viva Cantina in Burbank.
The musical duo LoveyDove, led by Azalia Snail and Dan… (Courtesy of LoveyDove )

Burbank-based trio LoveyDove trade in an extraordinarily perfected and intricate brand of modern, underground pop. Led by Dan West and Azalia Snail, a romantic twosome who share an artful and unusually self-possessed synchronicity, LoveyDove, who appear Nov. 15 at Viva Cantina, specialize in creamy, enigmatic confections of pastel-toned psychedelia and intricately arranged experimental pop.

It's a sound lush with color and drenched with atmosphere, a distinctive approach that Snail describes as “a particular kind of full elation.” As captured on their forthcoming, self-titled debut CD, LoveyDove references Shakespeare, Brian Wilson, Sergio Mendes and Burt Bacharach, all entwined into a contemporary, defiantly unconventional yet comfortably familiar sound.

Dreamy, hypnotic and audacious, over the course of a dozen hopelessly ardent love songs they swing from vintage bubble-gum to swaying bossa nova to buzzing, synth-fueled techno. But this is no gimmick; rather it's soulful, serious business. “LoveyDove plays positive uplift music,” West said. “For us, it's time to feel good, to climb up out of the darkness.”


“When I was a teenager, I was full of angst, hatred, I had so much confusion and anger, such a downtrodden view of the world,” Snail said. “So, now, we want to lift people out of their potential doldrums, to stop all the negativity, to accentuate the positive, as corny as that sounds.”

That message is more than welcome in these shaky times, and the songs are consistently impressive. Impeccably executed, intricately arranged and featuring a dazzling range of instruments — harpsichords, woodwinds, cellos, distorted fuzz guitar — they have reached for, and attained, a near Olympian artistic plateau.

What's even more remarkable is how they, with drummer Briar Dean, manage to successfully translate such a broad sonic spectrum into a live show that still accurately approximates the sound and scope.

“For the live shows I've switched to a six-string bass, like Glen Campbell sometimes used to play, that's one of technical things.” West said. “But the writing and melodies are so specific that we can do it with less — it translates because of the writing, we get away with less because it's all there in the chord changes and melodies.”

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