Long in gestation, the full-length debut from Los Angeles-based composer/producer Johnathan Cooper’s lovelesslust is at hand. Steeped in darkwave, post-punk, industrial, and art rock, The Car Crash That Ended Her Life Came as No Surprise is a riveting, pensive work that seems to emanate from a nocturnal dimension. It lacerates in all directions, focusing ire inwardly and outwardly.
Cooper describes the project as a contradiction, right down to the name — “As two words (‘loveless lust’), it means the opposite of it as three words (‘love, less lust’). The battle of primal urges against intellectual reasoning. Harmony and noise. Black and white.”
This cleaving of contrasts is evident in the music. Pogoing basslines and clamorous percussion are juxtaposed with swelling string arrangements and intricate synth lines. Cooper’s vocal delivery ranges from whispery to sneering to guttural. It’s consistently menacing and serrated, reminiscent of Birthday Party-era Nick Cave, but is allayed by the seductive pipes of guitarist/bassist Dana Wells.
“After eight years of molding the band into its current form, writing and recording 44 demo tracks and performing across the southwest United States, we have concentrated and refined our best work into this diamond of a record,” Cooper said. “The songs are personal reflections about how difficult it is to cope with expectations: we are expected to be smart, sexy, humble, successful, interesting, lovable, and above all, unanxious about ourselves while aspiring for unrealistic heights. While some of the tracks such as ‘Lowlife Novelties’ and ‘AntiYouth’ work as singles, the record as a whole is meant to reward repeat listens and to be experienced from start to end.”
The album is due out August 19th.