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The duo of married couple Ryan Lum and Anji Bee (aka Anji Lum), Lovespirals' sophisticated brand of dream pop is tinged with the sounds of jazzy sophist-pop, soft rock, and soul as well as diversions into trip-hop, lounge, and house music. Formed around the turn of the millennium, they made their full-length debut with a slow-burning, eclectic blend of genre influences on the dreamy Windblow Kiss in 2002, while 2005's Free & Easy merged the resulting sound with electronica and trip-hop. They honed their uniquely interdisciplinary dream pop on albums like 2007's Long Way from Home and 2010's Future Past, releasing more-club-minded material along the way before returning with their fifth album, the Cocteau Twins-inspired Life Goes On, in 2018. Two decades after their debut album, reverb-washed Lovespirals singles including "Smile" and "The Call" appeared in 2022. Los Angeles-based musician Ryan Lum launched Lovespirals as an offshoot of Love Spirals Downwards, his project with singers including Suzanne Perry, Jennifer Ryan Fuller, and Jennifer Wilde. Anji Bee was involved with the Projekt Records outfit and eventually came on board as singer, prompting, along with subtle shifts in musical direction, a rebrand as Lovespirals. Gentle shifts in sound would soon become a trademark. Among the project's earliest releases under the shortened moniker was a drums&bass reimagining of the holiday classic "Little Drummer Boy" in 1999. Their first EP, the breakbeat-driven Ecstatic, followed in late 2001 and included prior Lum collaborators Doron Orenstien and Gabriel D. Vine on saxophone and Rhodes piano, respectively. Lovespirals' first full-length release, Windblown Kiss, appeared in June 2002 with a more dream pop-oriented sound, albeit with elements of several other genres, including alt-country, psych-folk, and lounge, all with a spaced-out, longing tone. Switching labels from Projekt Records to Chillcuts, and with Lum and Bee newly wed, the follow-up, September 2005's Free & Easy, marked a movement into club-oriented material with flavors of trip-hop and sophisti-pop. It welcomed back Orenstein on saxophone. Albeit with preview singles accompanied by a myriad of remixes, they shifted back to the pop realm for 2007's sultry Long Way from Home. Again releasing expanded remix EPs of singles ("Love," "Feels So Good"), Lovespirals delivered fourth album Future Past in late 2009, first from their web site, then with an official release on New Year's Day 2010. Amid continued collaborations with artists like Karmacoda and Falling You and appearances on compilations, the duo resurfaced with the Bee-penned "Happy Holidays" in December 2013; it included a 2010 disco version and 2012 shoegaze reworking of the song. She released the solo album Love Me Leave Me in late 2014; recorded with Lum (both were credited with programming, arrangements, mixing, and production), it included new versions of tracks by favorite collaborators in addition to original songs. Five years in the making, Life Goes On, Lovespirals' fifth LP, followed in late 2018. With Cocteau Twins cited as a major influence on the album, it found Lum challenging himself to revisit early-career sonic inspirations after nearly 30 years of technological advances. The three-song EP Smile followed suit in March 2022, as did July single "The Call." They changed things up with the atmospheric house track "Lonely Sunset" in September 2002.
© Marcy Donelson /TiVo
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