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The way Stuart McLamb tells it, his recordings as The Love Language were never intended for public consumption–yet here he is, preparing to release his second full-length under the moniker, the follow-up to last year’s self-titled debut. The songs featured on that first disc were a coping mechanism of sorts, a way for McLamb to commit his emotions to tape in the tumultuous period following a break up. Since then, he’s endured a different sort of break up–the disbanding of the musicians who helped bring The Love Language to life. True to form, the Raleigh, North Carolina resident trudged onward and produced the ten tracks which constitute Libraries, to be released July 13th by Merge.
Batting in the number six slot, “Heart to Tell” may be buried toward the back half of the lineup but its magnetic melodies and skittering beat make it a standout from the very first listen. Its two and a half minute track length is a nod to the larger aesthetic at play, namely a retro leaning rock ‘n roll style whose handclaps and thickly strummed guitars suggest recent blasts to the past such as The Pipettes, Saturday Looks Good to Me, and The School. Sweet vocal harmonies and twinkling bells aside, The Love Language lends the treatment a little more muscularity than his peers, working in some smoking feedbacking electric guitar and a hint of Julian Casablancas. The result is a crisp, punchy indie-pop song that leaves you with the wink of its final lines: “You can walk all over me, just don’t you walk away.”