Buy the remastered re-issue of Idylls here.
Love Spirals Downwards are the unconscious mind of ethereal music, evoking forgotten memories with subjective, alien tongues. The sounds drift dreamily through one's thoughts like incense permeates the air -- perhaps the spicy fragrance will seduce you like a lover to its heat, or else it will elude the threshold of perception and weave itself into the mind's strata of buried experiences . . . The result of this Easternish atmosphere, with delicate guitar and ebbing, oceanic female vocals is a taste of the watery, warm, and sweet elements of the earth.
"Sumptuous acoustics, beautiful female voice and sweet harmony rising to glorious heights." -THE EMPTY QUARTER, England
While their sound has evolved from their debut, their first effort still features some of their best tunes. The overall sound of the album is heavenly and reverberant, and there's also a greater degree of layering than subsequent works, with highly processed acoustic and electric guitars coalescing gracefully around Perry's angelic vox, Lum's heavenly keyboards, and occasional hand percussion and rhythm programming. Idylls also includes some beautiful cover artwork. -- Bryan Reesman
A review from Bikini Magazine:
Sailing on a gossamer sheen, swaying like a leaf lightly transversing the airwaves, Love Spirals Downwards unleashes achingly sweet melodies, led by the siren voice of Suzanne Perry, and tucked in a bed of soft ambient atmospherics and bittersweet acoustic strumming. Haunting like an unshakable dream, this proves itself to be rather affecting mood music.
A review from Mute Magazine:
Lovely this. It all flows together like a dream of some long, sundrenched afternoon with a cool breeze now and then wafting through. It makes one think of gathering flowers or slipping into the shadow.
Now some might dismiss this band, saying they're too twee, without any substance, and too much 4AD-inspired ethereal formlessness. But thats's just the point of Love Spirals Downwards, why vocalist Suzanne Perry's lyrics are just word forms, not to be readily understood.
Love Spirals Downwards deals in gentle hints of feeling. They don't want to pin down any specific idea with their songs. They are two people creating this dreamlike stuff, and it affects the atmosphere of the album so thats it's insular and isolated from current musical trends. Love Spirals Downwards have created their own world.
As already mentioned, Suzanne Perry is the vocalist, with pipes sweet and clear. On " Love's Labour's Lost" she sounds as achingly pure as Karin Oliver from His Name is Alive. At other times, with an Eastern flavored drum pattern surging through songs like "Scattered January," "Forgo, and "Dead Language", she has a haunting sound reminiscent of Lisa Gerrerd's primal voice in Dead Can Dance. Ryan Lum is the other member of the band and he professed admiration for the likes of early 4AD material from the Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance. It's there in his instrumentation-gentle Cocteau jangles in songs like "Eudaimonia," and "Drops Rain, and Sea." Eastern rhythms and mystic song titles - " Noumena of Spirit," "This Endris Night" - permeates this album.
But what truly makes this album is the studio smarts exhibited by the band. Ryan and Suzanne produce the album themselves, knowing only they could understand the kind of music they wanted to create. Love Spirals Downwards are not really a live band, because much of the magic is created in the studio. Idylls is an album to simply listen to, one that will help you escape. Ryan denies any drug reference associated with the initials of their name. He said in an interview that they thought the name had a nice ring to it, and that was all. So take their album as it is, without too much anaylsis. It is meant to be enjoyed, as something outside of time.
A review from Ray Gun Magazine:
You can barely shoe horn all the lush/Lush, curvy/Curve-y swirl-music bands into a tour bus these days. Does the scene have enough room behind the Catherine Wheel for Cocteau Quada? Or will Love Spiral Downwards have to ride in the U-Haul? Love Spirals Downward is a duo (Ryan Lum on instruments, Suzzanne Perry on vocals), whose debut on Projekt Records, Idylls, swims on waves of guitars and airy, otherworldly vocals. And your meant to feel the lyrics, not understand them; as Lum puts it, " We really don't want to say a whole lot as far as the semantics or messages go. We're more involved in the overall aesthetic picture, which is not necessarily determined by words and meaning and such." While you'll hear a hint of Indo-British singer Sheila Chandra on Idylls, LSD's most obvious influence is the Cocteau Twins. Lum admits that he and Perry were influenced by "mid eighties 4AD bands" like the Twins and This Moral Coil, but good naturely rejects the comparison. "I really don't think we sound like them, to be completely honest. I'm not in denial or self-deception," he volunteers reassuringly. "It's my honest belief that if you listen to our music, we don't sound like the Cocteau Twins." Well, okay, LSD does favor evocative vocalizations (Ah-h-ah-ah-h-h-h", that sort of thing) over the nonsense syllables of the Cocteau Twins; Lum and Perry's fondness for Indian classical music give Idylls a cosmopolitan sound, making it just right far, say, having Captain Picard over for a cup of Earl Grey, hot. And Lum is not bothered if people use Idylls as background music. "For gluing airplanes together it might not be good, he says, " but if your drinking tea, hanging out or whatever, that's fine." All he asks is that you give it a "a good listen" - Joe Clark