A Love Affair: Ain’t No Love and the Empty City’s Sunrise

It started at NXNE 2013, a love affair between writer and a damned sexy band. I had decided to listen to every band on the extensive NXNE lineup and even some of the unofficial bands.  It ended up being a long, arduous, 3 week process but eventually it culminated in an amazing week of staying up way too late while wearing far too little clothing. Frankly, there was a lot of shit in that roster but as the 3 weeks came to a close, there were a handful of bands left that needed to be worked through with ears and a critical mind.

Ain’t No Love was one of the final few bands to check out.  As the mouse cursor hovered over the X in Firefox a hook appeared and the expected disappointment turned to excited curiousity. A melody showed up shortly afterward and then a vocalist, and then another vocalist, and then another vocalist, and then some huge beats arrived.  Any possibility of a click on that X disappeared as the cursor made its way anywhere else on the screen.

Days later after the raging Boyz Noize show at The Hoxton came a stupidly intoxicated bike ride over to The Drake Underground to catch Ain’t No Love at 3AM – there might have been 25 people at the show.  As I ordered a beer to take the edge off, the band walked in like they were playing the 10PM slot – they were sensationally amped to get up and kick ass. This wouldn’t be their biggest show, not by a long-shot, but it held purpose to them and they went out there and screamed at those 25 people with huge lungs and huger hearts.

When the question “What are you listening to” comes up, Ain’t No Love has been somewhere in the top 3 for 2 years straight and that’s off one album.  It’s the way the production and lyrics and off the wall vocals all mesh together, it creates this huge sound that forces anyone listening to pay attention.  It’s what pulls this band away from being a great local band to being a great international band.

There have been announcements lately about new songs, signing with Warner and music videos. There is a new musical direction and it’s considerably different content-wise than most of what they’ve released to date.  Hate it or love it, their latest single, Pu$$y Down, sounds like it belongs beside Ginuwine’s Pony at a strip club. The group is exhibiting complex tones and lyrics while the production continues to evolve and match what seems to be their next bold move into that international marketplace.  2015 could be their big year with this new musical direction and label signing, it could also be a departure too far from style to appeal to a larger audience. Regardless of how this new music finds itself against your ears on recording, go see them live, their energy and presence is Joe Louis about to explode in a ring.

After that first show at The Drake Underground, slightly more sober, it was a long bike ride back to Danforth and Coxwell.  As the early morning sun began to peek across the horizon nothing but a brilliant and extremely attractive smile crawled across my face – the thought of listening to this group of passionate musicians was more filling than any religion had ever tried to be.  They transformed that night from a fantastic live recording into a living beast filled with untamed  ferocity.   The bike ride across the empty metropolis was silent with only a few shamblers stumbling into their own temporary despair and McDonald’s.  There was no silence inside, no despair, no shambling, the music in my head was louder than ever as their show replayed behind shining eyes that were nothing less than madly and deeply in love.

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