Check out lovespirals, Ryan Lum's new band...
December 6, 1998 Interview with Ryan
Love Spirals Downwards launched their career in the early 90's at the forefront of the Ethereal movement inspired by the bands of 4AD records. Each LSD album has brilliantly incorporated new elements into their original foundation of atmospheric melodies and gorgeous female vocals. Over the past decade, band founder/songwriter Ryan Lum has embraced the sounds of ambient electronica, trip hop, breakbeat, and drum n bass, combining them with his ethereal synth and guitar to beautiful effect.
The 1992 debut release, Idylls, introduced listeners to a unique, sumptuous sound composed of interwoven acoustic and electric guitar textures and exotically layered female vocals. Love Spirals Downwards seamlessly melded the 80's 4AD band sound with 60's psychedelic folk rock and international music to create a style all their own. This bold and impassioned debut quickly captured the hearts and minds of listeners world wide.
Ardor, released in 1994, featured the signature swirling guitars, minimal bass lines and slow paced tempos of the Shoegazer genre. Suzanne Perry's unique style of vocal harmonies, many times in foreign languages, took them far beyond the genre, however. Some people compared them to Dead Can Dance, others Cocteau Twins, or Slowdive. Dreamy and romantic sounding, Ardor is rich in atmosphere and feeling. Jennifer Ryan Fuller joined them for two tracks, one being the popular duet, "Depression Glass," making her the first additional vocalist to be featured with LSD.
LSD's 1996 release, Ever, further diversified their established sound, bringing ambient electronic grooves into the mix of folk-inspired melodies and lush guitar textures. A definite departure, Ever's music combines a more modern feel with that of their classical-tinged and internationally influenced sounds. Incorporating more loops and fewer vocals than before, the songs are often minimal in effect. Poignant and bittersweet, but beautifully exalted, Ever is the bridge between the "old" sound of Love Spirals Downwards and the "new."
Their best-selling fourth album, Flux, made a bold move in a new direction. Flux begins Lum's excursion into drum and bass production, placing more emphasis on rhythm and beat than vocal fronting. Two prominent songs feature new lead vocalist Kristen Perry (Suzanne's sister), one samples Fuller's earlier vocal performance, while several others rely on samples of Perry, rather than full vocals. Combining their tried and true sound with trip hop, bassonova, drum 'n' bass and trancey electronica beats, Lum opened up a whole new musical frontier for LSD, bringing them closer to a contemporary pop sound than previous efforts.
Temporal, the current album under the name Love Spirals Downwards, is a collection of songs from Lum and Perry's history of recordings. Following a reverse continuum, Temporal journeys from new dance remixes, backwards in time to their earliest recordings. About half electronically oriented, and half acoustic based, Temporal illustrates perfectly just how far the Lovespirals' sound has grown over the years and matured with the times.