Love Lounge
by Live

Album: Local 717 (2018)
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Songfacts®:

  • This energetic track from Live's 2018 EP, Local 717, was their first original song since the return of their original frontman, Ed Kowalczyk. He left the band in 2009 to pursue a solo career but returned in 2016. The intervening years were marked by bitterness between the singer and his former bandmates - who sued him for breach-of-contract over an old publishing deal and trademark infringement over his continued use of the band name - but they were able to make amends.
  • This was inspired by the chilly East Coast winters that Kowalczyk, a Pennsylvania native, became reacquainted with when he moved back east to Connecticut after more than a decade of living in sunny Southern California. The only way to combat the frigid temperatures was to stay inside and keep warm, which also fueled his creativity. He wrote the song with Zak Loy, who played guitar in his solo band and joined Live on tour when Kowalczyk came back to the fold.
  • Kowalczyk told Stereogum the song is "stream-of-consciousness going like, 'You know, I just wanna be in a warm love lounge, a warm pub, you know get out of here and chill.' And so the lyric kinda came from that. It was really just this fast stream-of-consciousness thing."

    But, he explained, it all started with a riff from Loy. "He actually had this riff that he sent to me and I just started to go with it. I remember I was riding home from my local Whole Foods, I had most of the lyric and the melody so it was really, really fast. But it was also really cold. I think I was just living in this sort of fantasy world of going to this bar that I opened called the Love Lounge."
  • Kowalczyk elaborated on the song meaning in a Vents Magazine interview, saying, "I really love to write things that are wide open to interpretation. The lyrics to 'Love Lounge' remind me a lot of the lyrics that I wrote for Live's 'I Alone.' Those, too, are using what might be, on the surface at least, a romantic story to get at a metaphor about a bigger love. Love and fear are in a kind of constant 'tug of war' in ourselves and in the world at large. We live like moths around a flame, perpetually attracted to the light of love yet afraid of the dissolution that surrender necessarily entails. 'Love Lounge' is full of that tension lyrically, but melodically it oozes with the seduction of a deep desire to go beyond our limits…'come to the Love Lounge, I'll be right along.' All of my favorite rock songs do this in some way, like an archetype that prefigures every piece of art that touches our souls. In my life as an artist, I'm just trying to add more of those types of songs to the cosmic set list."
  • This marked the first time that Chad Taylor, who has been the band's guitarist since they formed in the mid-80's, produced and engineered a Live track. He told Vents Magazine how he approached the job: "'Love Lounge' was a monster track to capture. I wanted the band to sound raw and tight like our early days at CBGB's. The recording is truly a performance piece, where each member brings their unique voice to build this huge energy. Ed's vocals, in particular, were completely spontaneous and filled with his trademark passion. The only challenge for me was that he recorded the entire vocal performance in only two takes! When you're working with musicians of his caliber, you better record it right the first time, or you may never get it! He's like a rocket launching into space. Zak Loy provided the original guitar riff, and Ed wrote the vocal melody and lyrics, with me collaborating on the bridge. My goal as producer was to keep the energy super high, and have the track reflect the fact that we are having so much fun writing and recording. Our friend and 'Walk The Line' collaborator Tim Palmer mixed, adding the perfect balance to our controlled chaos."
  • Aside from Loy acting as second guitarist, this also features Live's touring drummer, Robin Diaz, on stick duties with Chad Gracey.

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