neilcollinsrecording.com speaks to ‘Act Of Love’

Hello and welcome to the 7th blog in the ‘neilcollinsrecording.com speaks to’ series aimed at getting to know some of the bands in your local music scene and listening to their new releases.

 

In this blog we speak to ‘Act Of Love’ whose CDBaby page introduces them as follows:

aolThis music is made to uplift you, make you cry, dance, laugh and (of course) love.

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I wanted to find out a bit more about ‘Act Of Love’ so I asked them a few music and not so music related questions:

Describe your music in 3 words?

Cosmic Soul Music!

Favourite local band?

Drookit Dogs (sadly deceased)

Favourite local venue?

Concorde2

Analogue or digital?

Both

Your take on the live music scene in this country?

It’s ok, soldiering on! Could do with some energetic promoters/venues but just gotta get out there & give it all we have

Cameron or Corbyn?

The people get things done better than politicians

Your 3 biggest influences and why?

Bowie, Prince & Gram Parsons. Since yesterday, all dead!

Sell your music to us?

Made with love & passion. To make you cry, dance or, well, you know. Listen, I think it sells itself ๐Ÿ˜‰


music review

So I put on their ‘Looking for the light’ EP and pressed play

I didn’t really know what to expect from these guys. Usually you can get an idea of the style of music from bios and having a look at the band photos etc but I went into this one fairly blind as to what I was going to be listening to. When title track ‘Looking for the light’ came on I, at first thought, they’d massively overdone the effects on the production side of things but when you listen to the track in the context of the EP its clear this is a conscious decision and is all about creating a dreamy landscape as a basis for the tracks. There’s something about the vocal that took me back to the first Bernard Butler album ‘People move on’ (classic album if you haven’t heard it?). It’s a really dreamy vocal backed up by a nice simple chord structure and a nice delayed guitar. The dreamy production harks back to the indie bands of the mid 90’s Boo Radleys, Teenage Fanclub et al. A nice start to the EP indeed

‘Running from the sun’ has an air of ‘Seasons in the sun’ but with contemporary production. I’m not sure what it is, I think there’s a similar chord structure going on somewhere. The effected guitar on this one is a little distracting for me but I understand its reasons for being there, theres a nice synth bass line and some nice chord progressions here. It’s a nice little number this and follows on nicely from ‘Looking for the light’

On third track ‘Wrap around your world’ we are first introduced to the lovely sax that is present throughout many of the tracks. Its been nicely produced and mixed to fit with the overall feel of the EP. Its got some subtle delay on it and its understated, really nice. I like that this track is so simplistic, that’s not a criticism at all, whoever has written and arranged this has worked out that this track just works as it is with some minimalistic synthetic drums and some lovely understated backing vocals, it’s a lush little track with some really nice lyrics to top it off:

“My love will wrap around your world & colonise your heart”

Fourth track ‘Ships in the oceans’ is probably my standout track. We pick the pace back up with this one, its got a bit of a country feel to it, it’s also a bit ‘Beautiful South’ but with a groove. Theres a female lead on this one which is a nice addition. Its got a great uplifting chorus and a really nice groove complete with claps, it’s just a great feel good song. Everything sits nicely in the mx and the sax is there again understated and sitting in the background doing its thing to great effect

The fifth track is a live one ‘Wild’. Live tracks on a studio EP aren’t always the best idea but because of the production on this EP there’s a sense of space anyway so having a live track kind of makes sense. It’s quite removed from the previous track and I’m immediately transported back to the 90s to bands like ‘PWEI’ & ‘Flowered Up’. The effected vocal and the dreamy nature ofย  “Act Of Love’ is certainly reminiscent of these acts and there’s even a hint of ‘Higher than the sun’ on this one. I really like the effected guitar and early ‘Killers’ style synth. I would possibly have the drums a bit more ‘present’ but that’s merely a taste thing, its a great track

Final track ‘Swimming in the air’ is one of those tracks you just put on and drift off, not in a bad way but in an all dreamy vocals, chilled out sax and ethereal ‘La La La’ kind of way. Its a heightened version of the tone of the rest of the EP and is a very suitable and tidy ending to a really nice body of work

So if we refer back to part of their bio this EP pretty much does what they want it to do:“This music is made to uplift you, make you cry, dance, laugh and (of course) love”

Its just a really nice collection of well written and arranged tracks. Theres a clear production decision throughout the EP that puts all the tracks in a dreamy landscape, a very pleasant listen indeed

See if you agree, check out the ‘Looking for the light’ EP following the link below:

cdbaby

itunes

Thanks to ‘Act Of Love’ for sending me the EP for review, I hope you have found this blog review enjoyable? Please feel free to leave comments below, it would be great to give them & myself some feedback?

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  • aolstudios

    Interesting & perceptive review, Neil. Cheers!

  • twd<3

    Found this review really interesting, especially so many references to favourite bands of mine from the 90s! Had to check out the tracks as a result. Love the driving feel to Wild and it really brought to mind PWEI for me as well, which is always a good thing.. the live track was lovely as well, lots of stuff to keep me interested on this EP, thanks Neil for the review :)

  • http://www.neilcollinsrecording.com Neil Collins

    Glad you enjoyed the review. Loved the way these tracks took me back to some of my favourite bands too. Nice to revisit sine of these tracks, thoroughly enjoyed the AOL EP in its own right also ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป