Local Band The Lovelost Make Sorely Needed Romantic Music
CowGirlZen Photography The Lovelost
Not sure if Spanish is indeed the loving tongue, but it wasn't two minutes into "Peregrina," the opening track of The Lovelost's debut album, Foreign, before I decided I loved the Lovelost. It didn't matter if Ixchel del Castillo was singing about a Mexican telenovela star or a mineral water; it was the sound of romance wafting through loud and clear through the computer speakers.
It's that romance that I realized was lacking in our Phoenix music scene. While lots of diverse styles of music abound, by design there is absolutely nothing romantic about genres like old school punk, hardcore or rap, and new indie music mostly peddles in depression or uncertainty, using lyrical obscurity as a smokescreen to keep from revealing too much healthy desire. The existence of romance reflected in the music that is supposed to reflect us doesn't seem to be a lot to ask. And on that score, The Lovelost delivers. Lovelost songs are sung in Spanish half the time, and if I was a betting man I'd say an A&R person at a record label would quick-classify it as Latin meets adult alternative, lose his hard-on and then probably lose his job anyway.
The band is essentially a couple, Ixchel, a native of Mexico City on lead vocals and bass, and her partner Frank Ippolito, who is from Chicago originally and plays guitars and ukulele for the band. There has been no new music since that fine album called Foreign released last year, but shows supporting it were infrequent. Come 2014, the band seems ready to gig more frequently. Up on the Sun spoke to the pair about the challenges of bringing a Latin Based pop, with rock and jazz mixed in to our local club scene.
Up on the Sun: How long has the Lovelost been incubating? There was another band before this, wasn't there?
Ixchel: Yes, the other projected lasted three years. It was called Leaf. We loved that band - it was our first creation together. It was a very unique style of rock and gypsy.
Ippolito: After that project dissolved, we took a second, well, a year, to catch our breath and decide what we were going to do next. The band business is very tough. And we are two people who are very black and white when it comes to commitment. We are all in or not in it at all, and that can lead to misunderstandings among band members. Ixchel being Latin, family is a big deal, and she has taught me that that is a very important part of life -- even when it comes to being in a band.
Ixchel: So, it was important for us to carefully choose our next musical move. We also wanted to create music that was different from what we had done previously. We wanted to reinvent, not recreate.
Ippolito: One of the things we wanted to do was have more of a Latin vibe to the music. After all, we had someone who is a wonderful singer but spoke Spanish. So while our songs in Spanish aren't "traditional" in nature, they have that feel, you know? Energetic guitars and percussion. We also wanted to incorporate a lot of instrumentation.
Ixchel: So Frank picked-up the uke and guitalele, (half guitar and half ukulele), we added keyboards, trumpet, floor toms reminiscent of Latin music and accordion.