Join the utopian dance party with Scottish duo FREE LOVE where echoey, new agemantras, gongs and location recordings of waves intercept electronic beeps of disco funk with hedonisticabandon.
It's Glasgow and it's reputation precedes it as being harsh, cold, wet, and miserable... Ssssh, let's keep this a secret, but Glasgow has been misrepresented. In reality, it's thriving - with fertile ground for artists and musicians, who can access affordable housing and a vibrant creative community - the city has much to offer. If a homegrown, escapist, music scene was going to emerge in 2018 in the UK, this would be the place.
Enter left, FREE LOVE, the latest utopian musical incarnation of Scottish duo Suzanne Rodden and Lewis Cook (FKA Happy Meals). In an apartment in Glasgow's West, we've got two musicians living in a flat chocked full of synthesisers and analogue music gear - enough to invoke a wave of envy from gearslutz.com most avid users and more importantly they're cooking up a storm with their new age, electronic-pop experiments.
It isn't just about the music, Free Love has a thing going on and we're all invited to join their flow and expect the unexpected. A clue is in the band artwork, with the graphics reminiscent of handmade flyers you might've seen in a British public library in the 70s offering New Age meetups and transcendental meditation.
Bubbling away underground, throughout 2018 - in between their overnight, cosmic aligning, 12-hour Sleep Garden, performances and full-ashrams - Free Love have slow-dripped a bunch of magical and intriguing tracks as well as and popping up for various UK and EU shows and festival slots. The band also took part in Lost Map Records' Visitations residency where they wrote and recorded music on the Isle of Eigg, influences of which filter onto their latest highly anticipated Luxury Hits EP, in the form of atmospheric location recordings of the sea and crashing waves. Float your boat? Read on!
Free Love will be playing a handful of shows this week: 29th November – Folklore, London, 30th November – The Peer Hat, Manchester, and 2nd December – The Poetry Club, Glasgow, as well as supporting Franz Ferdinand and Metronomy on 31st December for Hogmanay, Edinburgh.
Free Love is for fans of Metronomy, Happy Mondays and Sink Ya Teeth. Read our chat below.
GigList: Hey! Introduce the band, who is who? Free Love: Free Love is Suzi and Lewis.
GL:We saw you support James Holden in Brighton. V cool show, but no Free Love tunes were played? We noticed you lit incense sticks during the performance, what scent do you use for shows? Free Love: Glad you enjoyed the show! What you saw was the other side of the Free Love coin. For the high NRG side to exist, we call on the heavier, more solid sides of ourselves to ground us and focus back into reality. It's important to both of us that we don't constrict ourselves or the music we make to one form and at the moment we do that through our Full Ashram ceremonies. That's what we use at the moment, we'll see what comes out next the next time we sit down to write some more. We used Golden Nag Champa in Brighton but I think the original one is best.
GL: As lovely as they are, why the French vocals in some Free Love tracks? Free Love: Sometimes the track sounds like it needs French vocals, sometimes English sounds better to me. It depends how I feel at the time but I like the sound of the language and the feel of it on my tongue. I like the mystery and the romance it holds.
GL: Free Loves's Instagram is gear heaven - you’ve got an apartment full of amazing synthesisers and music machines. Favourite piece of equipment? Free Love: For playing live, I love the Korg Minilogue. We bought it to try and mimic the sounds we had recorded with our Delta at home which is too fragile to travel with. We've spent a long time putting together our live setup and now it feels like home.
GL: You've been dropping singles from your recent Luxury Hits EP throughout 2018, where was the EP recorded? Free Love: As with all our records, aside from the Visitations record which was recorded on Eigg, we do everything in our living room. Everything's set up and ready for when inspiration arrives and we can start and finish whenever we want. It feels good to let a record or even just one track marinate and take form in its own time, unrestricted, which we wouldn't be able to do as well if we were booking a studio I suppose.
GL: Fave place to hang out in Glasgow? Free Love: Probably one of the parks now it's autumn, the Kelvingrove or Queens Park if we want to explore a little.
GL: Are there any Glaswegian bands/artists that we should know about? Free Love: There are always so many. Kaputt, Comfort, Love Kindre, but really the list is endless.
GL: Currently listening to…. Free Love: Pete Drake, Sam Gendel and Chris and Cosey.
GL: Dream support slot? Free Love: The promoter's gleaming white suit is recognisable in the doorway as she watches our helicopter descend over the rolling island plains. 'You came. You're here!' she whispers in excitement as we pass her through the grand doors that lead through the halls on the way to the stage. On either side of us, lining the candle-lit corridor are familiar faces. It's our enemies and everyone who has ever slighted us apologising and asking for forgivance. In turn, they each hand us an item that was requested on our rider that we give to every promoter but only sometimes get. 'Thank you- you are forgiven' we will say, receiving the coconut water and tequila in return. The headline act, (billed above us as a gesture of humble of humility on our part) salutes us- tears of joy streaming down their face. Our family and friends all around us: 'we're proud of you. we love you' - echoing like a mantra. We step out on the stage and look out onto the sea of faces - humbled, ecstatic, euphoric. What happens next is a blur - an exhibition of human connectedness spiritual unity and exemplification of the oneness of the collective consciousness. Physical and spiritual illumination on a scale never before believed to be true. As the curtain drops - no need for encore - each and every person knows it ended just as it needed to. Perfection. Also a nice hotel.