Does it help that the first song I heard from the new Lovers and Poets album is a cover of one of my all-time favorite David Bowie songs? Yes, it most definitely does. Their cover of “Ashes to Ashes” is slow and moody with a lush, trippy backing track, and it captures the chill mood of the rest of the album. Highlights include album’s opening track, “You + Me in the Summer,” a soft-rock gem that isn’t hard to imagine spinning on an L.A. turntable circa 1979. (I don’t know what that means, exactly, but something about the track put that phrase in my head.) “That’s the Way It Goes” opens with a piano riff that would be right at home on Carole King’s Tapestry album, but as the song progresses, the funky clavs and synths take us into Buck Rogers territory (in the best way possible), and the rest of the album follows suit with a blend of rootsy singer-songwriter funk-and-disco-influenced rock and silky chillwave synths. “Here Comes the Morning” and a cover of “I Am Barely Breathing” have a distinct 90s vibe that’s underscored by vocal reminiscent of Sarah McLachlan, and the album’s closer, “Beautiful World” comes off as a prayer to the world we’re all capable of making if we only put our hearts to it.
In short, Lovers + Poets II = Carole King + Beach House + Sarah McLachlan. The album is available on BandCamp for $9.99 (US). Individual songs are $1. Definitely check out their version of “Ashes to Ashes.”