North Carolina singer, songwriter and guitarist Stuart McLamb started out as the Todd Rundgren of Wilmington, playing every instrument and singing every vocal line on the debut (lo-fi) Love Language album in 2009. He assembled a band to perform the hooky rock ‘n’ roll songs live, and the band cut a second album for Merge Records.
And then the indie world found itself enraptured by McLamb’s poetic and impossible catchy music. The Love Language was a big crowd hit at the Jinx during the 2012 edition of Savannah Stopover.
Members have come and gone since, but the now Chapel Hill-based Love Language, anchored as ever by the stalwart McLamb, released an excellent third record in 2013. It’s called Ruby Red, and it expanded the power-pop to include chamber strings, background singers and adventurous psychedelia.
“Our live setup is two guitars, keyboards, bass, and drums,” McLamb explained to The Columbia Spectator. “There won’t be strings and stuff, but I don’t think people will miss it. I really like our live show, but I consider it to be a separate world. Live, we’re not going for hitting every note perfectly and sounding like a record. It’s just a different kind of energy. We add a little more of a garage, almost punk attitude to our performance. We’re definitely a loud band."