The Lovebirds consist of award-winning songwriters Lindsay White and Veronica May, who characterize themselves as “Folk that pops.” They recently released their third album, Breakup Shmakeup, which was inspired by the breakup of their very own romance (Don’t worry, they’re still songwriting together). Even more recently they took some time to tell us about the album and what they are hoping and planning for the future.
HV: Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us.
The Lovebirds: Thank you for inviting us to be a part of High Voltage!
HV: So what’s the story behind The Lovebirds? We understand you recently went through a pretty significant change.
TL: We met through the music scene a little over four years ago; we both had solo acts and our own bands at the time. We started writing together and really enjoyed collaborating. Eventually our friendship transformed into a band and also a romantic relationship. After three years and two albums, we both decided that we needed to step away from the relationship; however, we still loved The Lovebirds and wanted to keep that aspect of our partnership intact. It was a difficult decision and a long journey that required a lot of patience and maturity, but we’re happy we made it out alive!
HV: What do you, personally, consider to be the highlights of the band, thus far?
TL: One recent highlight was winning the Kerrville Folk Festival’s New Folk contest in May 2014 for the songs “Boat Train” and “Crimson Love” off our new record. New Folk is a prestigious event in the songwriting community that is often credited for helping launch the careers of so many great musicians, and we are elated to be named among them. On top of this, we were able to meet and make friends with amazing people from all over the country.
HV: Is there anything that you think is particularly important that fans and potential fans need to know about the band and your approach to making music?
TL: We are always collaborating. Even if one of us writes a song entirely, the other will collaborate via harmonies or instrumentation. Although all of our songs start out as personal expressions, we give them over to our audience during performances. We want everyone to be able to connect to the emotions and themes of our music.
HV: That’s great! And you just released your latest album, Breakup Shmakeup. How would you characterize the album? How does it compare to previous releases?
TL: Breakup Shmakeup is definitely a concept album in a way the others were not. All the songs either directly or indirectly relate to the experience of going through the breakup. This doesn’t mean they’re all sad songs. Some are actually very hopeful and reflective. This album really taps into all the stages of processing a huge life change. All the emotions are there.
HV: What would you consider to be the album’s most significant influences, both musical and otherwise, in addition to your own, personal situation?
TL: The songs on this album are very emotionally driven. After the breakup, we took space from each other and really focused on acknowledging and accepting our feelings. So each song started out with a specific emotion that we wanted to address. For example “Boat Train” and “Love Through Our Music” deal with initial heartbreak and loss. “Be” was born out of a need to feel calm. “Whiplash” processes the anger and confusion that comes with breaking up. “Crimson Love,” “Echo,” and “It Lands” focus on acceptance. “Fortunate Us” is actually one of the only tracks that brings in external influences, like nature. And you can definitely hear musical influences of the ‘40s in “Because of Love.”
HV: How would you characterize your particular process of writing and recording? You’ve worked with the same recording crew on each album.
TL: The writing process always varies. Sometimes we do it together, sometimes separately. We’ve worked with Jeff Berkley at Berkley Sound in San Diego for all three albums and we feel safe in his hands. We usually go in to the studio with a pretty clear idea of how we want the songs to sound, and he always listens and adds the perfect production. He is so talented and so fun at the same time; we have a lot of fun together.
HV: Since your latest is a “breakup album,” we’re curious if you have any favorite breakup records by other artists?
TL: Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours is pretty incredible. What an amazing collection of songs, considering everything they went through.
HV: Yes – great album! So, I’m really intrigued by your On a Personal Note project. Would you care to talk about that?
TL: Musicians are always cooking up creative ways to fund their passion. Writing custom songs is something we’ve always done for friends on special occasions (weddings, birthdays, new babies, etc.). We decided to also open that option up for anyone who may be interested in purchasing a custom song as a gift for a friend or even for their own wedding. We typically will give the client a questionnaire that helps us get to know them and their story, then we’ll write a song that helps them express their love in a unique way. We can either record it and/or perform it live at their special event. We love it because it challenges us to write outside our own experience.
HV: You have a number of upcoming live dates throughout the summer. What can be expected of the live experience?
TL: The type of venue usually dictates the type of performance. If we’re playing in a venue that’s equipped to handle our drum kit, we’ll do a set that incorporates more of our rock/pop songs. If we’re doing a house concert, we will play some of our more intimate songs. Besides singing, we laugh, we improvise, we fake tap-dance, we tell terrible jokes and we point and laugh at ourselves when we mess up. We love live shows because anything can happen and it can never be repeated.
HV: And what are you hoping and planning for the rest of the year? What are you most excited about in 2014?
TL: We are inching closer and closer to making a leap into full-time music. It’s scary to leave the security of other jobs behind but as more and more opportunities arise, we know we can’t let fear get in the way of our passion. We have a small summer tour planned on the east coast, and then we’ll get to work on planning the next one, and the next one, etc. Our main goals are to focus on music placement in television and film, as well as try to get booked as a support for a national touring act or festival. We just want to play and pay our rent.
HV: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
TL: We want you to stalk us to an appropriate degree. Take an hour on the clock at work (go ahead, your boss told me it was ok.) and visit our website (www.thelovebirds.com), sign up for our newsletter, follow us on Facebook, and subscribe to our Youtube vids. And if you still like us after your research session, maybe take it to the next level by buying an album or coming to a show.
HV: Thanks y’all!