THURSDAY
June 20, 2019 | doors at 8:30pm
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Triple Ds presents:
PRESTON LOVINGGOOD
  • $10
  • $12
  • ADVANCE
  • DAY OF SHOW
Preston Lovinggood
The last time we heard from Preston Lovinggood – the singer-songwriter behind Birmingham, Alabama cult heroes Wild Sweet Orange – was his 2014 album, Shadow Songs. It was an album born fitfully – even spawning a lo-fi companion album, Sun Songs, before achieving its final form. The result, though, was stunning – both as a collection of songs as well as a uniform soundscape where Lovinggood’s well-appointed, intricately-detailed, and low-key funny tales of love, longing, and loss could properly linger. Consequences takes this to another level. Lovinggood’s best, most concise, and hook-laden album to date, Consequences not only manages to conjure a unique soundscape of its own: Sun-kissed, micro-dosed modern pop that pulls off the neat trick of appearing straight-forward when, upon further inspection, everything is trailing off into subtle psychedelic curls.
This also holds true for Consequences’ inferred storyline. Lovinggood’s music is properly cinematic – not as the oft-employed shorthand for “big and / or dramatic,” but in that his albums succeed in sustaining moods, characters, and themes. Consequences is, in a sense, a “break-up” record (the finger-quotes are Preston’s”), but the storyline eschews the linear – opting instead for a cut-up approach that leaves its lovers unstuck in time.
It’s also a practical approach: By putting the music ahead of plot, Consequences 11 songs flow perfectly. Furthermore, its 40-minute runtime begs for repeat listening – a must considering the rich production and the scrupulous observations peppered throughout Lovinggood’s lyrics. “Everything Will Be Okay,” “Taken in the Night,” “Divorce,” and the beautifully orchestrated title-track are breathtaking, sweet, hilarious, hallucinatory, and devastating – often all at once. “Moon Fever” is his greatest chorus: The way the images flicker back and forth – tangled as the tides – it’s arguably the spiritual centerpiece of the album.

Consequences is a California record through and through: The sweetness, the sun, the artifice, the dark underbelly – it’s all there. Where Shadow Songs lurked in Los Angeles’ 60-cycle nighttime hum, Consequences steps out into the ocean air, bathing in the beauty and contradictions – bringing everything into the light.

“It’s strange how parts of our self can feel tied to a place,” wonders Lovinggood. Indeed. And Consequences is a reminder of how songs can bring us back to the beginning – to retrieve something we thought was lost.

“During that phase of my life I went from one dysfunctional relationship to the next,” says Lovinggood. “Consequences is trying to cleanse that out. That Hollywood version of love. So maybe these songs are a journey towards healthy self-esteem. And a plea for forgiveness – from others and myself.”

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Consequences isn’t just cinematic in its presentation: Like any film, its execution involved a core group of collaborators. Lovinggood’s most collaborative project since Wild Sweet Orange’s sole full-length LP, We Have Cause to Be Uneasy (an album whose audience has grown steadily in the decade since its release), producers Juan Solorzano and Zachary Dyke also doubled as Lovinggood’s bandmates. Sanders Bohlke contributed lyrics and melodic ideas to several songs, including “Taken in the Night” and “Moon Fever” – both of which began life as Wild Sweet Orange demos.

While stuck inside during a rare Alabama ice storm, Lovinggood realized that he needed help with lyrics – a sincere act of surrender from an artist known for his way with words. Lovinggood reached out to two friends: Paul Padgett (a Virginia-based NASA employee Preston met in Nashville) and Birmingham-based writer Adam Wolnski.

“I would send them all of the lyrics I had for a song. And they would send me all their ideas. Then I put them all together. Which was also a way some of the songs for We Have Cause to Be Uneasy were written.”

Lovinggood took the advice of a friend and crowdfunded Consequences. Though he was initially reluctant, the allure of true creative control was far too compelling. He reached his fundraising goal handily. With the financial stress off his shoulders, Lovinggood was able to keep his focus on realizing his new album. Preston and company cut Consequences in a mere two weeks at Solorzano’s studio in Nashville – shielding themselves from outside influences; working until they felt perfectly spent.

The effort paid off: Consequences is the sound of an artist who, by staying true to both his art and craft, has returned with his purest statement to date. Consider this a new introduction to one of America’s secret songwriting treasures.

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