Lightning Love
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Lightning Love

Detroit, Michigan, United States

Detroit, Michigan, United States
Pop Indie

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"AMG: Blonde Album - 4/5"



Lightning Love's 2008 debut November Birthday was a collection of bright, enthusiastic and minimally arranged indie pop coupled with dour, neurotic lyrics that swung from ironically witty to borderline cry-for-help territory. The underlying despair of the album was easily outshined by the band's gift for hooks and straightforward melodies proud to be uncluttered and classically streamlined, even if they were supporting lyrics about falling-down drunkeness or not wanting to leave the house. In the years that followed, Lightning Love didn't refine their approach so much as grow into it, and with sophomore full length Blonde Album, the trio sound comfortable, confident and driven, or at least as much as they possibly can when performing songs born out of anxiety and uncomfortable feelings. Songs like "I Know" and "Deadbeat" sound epic in their directness, Leah Diehl's wintery voice, pulsing keyboards and banging piano stretching out over minimal beats and spare guitar counter melodies. The band's ability to compose monumental pop songs out of minimal ingredients is one of the strongest elements of their sound, using negative space in their glowing indie pop to the same effect that the Talking Heads applied it to their dance grooves. Drummer Aaron Diehl and guitarist/vocalist Ben Collins contribute parts so measured and tastefully restrained, it's clear that all three instrumentalists have approached the album as seasoned songwriters, aware of the balance necessary to make an arrangement shine. Though it's free of self-indulgent solos or overproduction, the album is not without it's unevenness. "Bobby Thompson", a stompy duet between Diehl and guest vocalist Pauly Doerr sounds hastily written, if still somewhat infectious in it's overdriven melodicism. Likewise, the sing-songy "Awkward" is pleasant enough but sounds half-baked when compared to the inspired and strange soar of "Just Friends" or the Eric Satie-borrowing solo piano and vocals dirge "I'll Never Love No One Else". The few moments here that are less fully-formed still fit in to the overarching feel of the record, which wastes very little space, keeping a constant bee-line moving between pop perfection and disparaging undertones. By the album's close, it's unclear if the bleakness, awkwardness and irreparable relationships that make up much of it's content are really cause for concern or just a necessary factor for the special breed of self-aware indiepop Lightning Love has made their own. While some of the lyrics cast heavy shadows over the songs, Blonde Album as a whole is so criminally catchy and meticulously arranged, the darkness simply becomes another hook.
collapse - All Music Guide


"PASTE: The 10 Best New Voices in Music"

#6. Lightning Love’s driving choruses and sugary-sweet hooks that are all tied together by Leah Diehl’s distinctive voice, which (her words, not mine) “sounds like a four-year-old.” “I was surprised that it was kind of pretty,” Leah reflects on first hearing her voice in the band. “I never really sang. It was a pleasant surprise to hear that it was nice sounding.” - Paste Magazine


"VICE: Sex, Drugs and Rock 'N' Roll"

What I'm trying to say is that everyone needs some pop in their life from time to time. It keeps you from becoming a condescending fucktard. And Lightning Love is perfect for those wary of eating too much sugar. The Michigan trio's dainty melodies are paired with some pretty dark bitchy lyrics. The music is so pretty you might not even notice the depth of the lyrical content on a first listen.

You get the sense they might be quite knowledgeable about prescription meds. I'd like to have a beer with them and ask about their preferred method of treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I plucked OCD from an array of possible anxiety disorders because like clouds in a realist painting, yeah it's fluffy, but those clouds were painted with meticulous attention to detail.

A favorite Lightning Love song of mine is "Deadbeat." It sounds all like, "yeah I'm kicking you out you lazy piece of shit, but I look too damn good to be depressed about it, plus I got like 37 new messages on OkCupid and a date with an older rich guy at a champagne bar later so fuck you." - Vice Magazine


"Lightning Love: Girls Who Look Like Me"

I’m so glad I’ve learned to listen between the initial lines, and around the vocal tones. My first spin of the first track on Lightning Love’s new four-song EP had me starting to think, “Oh, no – another kinda cutesy , little-girlish voice.” But something in the words of Deadbeat, and something about the honesty; as well as the Ypsilanti, Michigan-based trio’s synchronous vibe, made me want to keep listening.

By the second track, I found myself increasingly hypnotized by Lightning Love. All four tracks on Girls Who Look Like Me have a sort of idiosyncratic, Poppy charm. The two that really stand out are Wake Up and Find Myself and the ridiculously wonderful When You Sleep. What a great way to start a new year. Leah, Aaron, and Ben, should all quit their day jobs, if they have them; unless there are younger mouths to feed, and unless those jobs will provide fodder for more idiosyncratic, Poppy gems. Something tells me that Leah could find a song in just about anything. - My Old Kentucky Blog


"RFC Thinks You Should Know... Lightning Love"

Lightning Love is what's called "the entire package". To quote a recent Mezzic review of the band's debut, November Birthday, "It’s amazing that Lightning Love isn’t better known because they truly have a winning formula. Diehl is cute as a button and plays the keyboard better than most the girls in electro-pop bands that Pitchfork is raving about these days. Couple that with the fact that both her band mates are foxy gents and you’ve got the “attractive” part of the market cornered. (For those keeping score at home, those gents answer to Ben Collins, who slings guitar, and Aaron Diehl, Leah’s drumming brother who occasionally lends his voice to accompany big sis.) The music is catchy and can soundtrack a mean dance party. The lyrics are honest, earnest, and relatable. And Diehl’s voice? It’s the most unique voice this side of Joanna Newsom, only instead of being backed by harp during a sixteen minute ambitious composition, it’s backed by searingly infectious keyboards! Is there anything not to love about the Michigan trio? Answer: No. No, there is not." - Radio Free Chicago


"Lightning Love, With So Much More"

...Sweet, minimalist and rhythmic, Lightning Love has gotten this far by catchy enchantment; piano pounded indie-pop, whirly space-rock, and meandering vocal melodies flicking the ugly/beautiful coin of delicate romance and disillusioned youth — ever hardening and maturing in all elements, as band, as people.

http://www.realdetroitweekly.com/content/article_5450.shtml - Real Detroit Weekly


"Real Best of Detroit 2011 -- Music"

Lightning Love – a sugar sweet electro-pop trio out of Ypsilanti – not to be confused with a 1923 film featuring the joyously obese, Oliver Hardy. With an emphasis on electric keyboard and female vocals, Lightning Love is similar to an electrified version of Candy Land, but with friendship problems. Their songs are so catchy that people of all musical backgrounds seem to enjoy Lightning Love's candy-coated melodies and angst-filled lyrics – so sweet, they'll rot your teeth out. - Real Detroit Weekly


"Girls Who Look Like Me"

The new EP by Detroit-area trio Lightning Love pairs darkness and light, creating beauty in the process. "Deadbeat," the three-minute ditty that opens the release, bubbles with hints of Death Cab for Cutie and a bluesy, syncopated stomp that portends an epic storm. Heavy strikes of drums and piano keys kindle "I Know," which trudges forward with both weariness and confidence as singer Leah Diehl spins a tale about emotional disconnects. A lost soul's hopes and sorrows spring from the simple piano melody of "Wake Up and Find Myself," wending their way toward pop as pure and lovely as a Pernice Brothers tune. - The Daily Page


"Cool Band: Lightning Love"

Their quirky—sometimes self consciously so—approach to indie rock captures all the great qualities of a great college band with self-referential lyrics, ironic stylings, and DIY promotion. The difference being that their songs are at least as catchy as any current indie darlings (I’m looking at you, Ting Tings). - Glorious Noise


"Lightning Love: November Birthday"

...But despite the subject matter, this is not heavy, plodding maudlin indie rock. Using catchy simply melodies, sparse, twee (in the best sense of the word) instrumentation and the simple distinctive vocals of the darling Leah Diehl, Lightning Love makes subjects like the realization that your friends might very well have grown tired of your drunken antics, (you know — like when you climbed up the shaft and pissed in the elevator of an old parking garage), seem like the bouncy, sing-along subjects they were always meant to be. With a refrain of "If you know where my friends are hanging out/ If you know why they haven't been around/ If you see them please tell them to come talk to me," Lightning Love shines light on the balance between the spectacle of extroversion and second guessing and worry of shyness. Their live shows around the Detroit area have left fans eager for some recorded material beyond the bare bones demos on their My Space page. And November Birthdays truly delivers. - Metro Times


""12 Michigan Acts You Should LIsten to Now""

Named one of 12 Michigan Acts You Should Listen to Now - Paste Magazine


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Lightning Love is an indie-pop band from Ypsilanti, MI, consisting of siblings Leah and Aaron Diehl and their best friend Ben Collins.

The group self recorded their debut album "November Birthday", their EP "Girls Who Look Like Me" and their latest LP "Blonde Album." They are currently signed to Ann Arbor, MI label "Quite Scientific."

Lightning Love was a finalist in Billboard magazine's 2011 Battle of the Bands. They have been featured on Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim" and in a number of movies. Leah was nominated for "Best Songwriter" at the 2011 Detroit Music Awards and the band has been named "Best Indie Band" for the last two years by Real Detroit Weekly.