Love in October
Gig Seeker Pro

Love in October

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF
Band EDM Pop

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


"CityPages"

At the core of Minneapolis's Love in October are two Swedish immigrants with dreams of rock-spectacle success. Indebted to the musical and promotional sensibilities of bands like Quietdrive and OK Go, these new kids in town have spent the past few months building a considerable web following; more than just a rock entity, the group orchestrates a multimedia medley of music, video, theater, and dance. "It's a rock show, so there should definitely be a show involved. We're entertainers," says Erik Widman, founding singer-guitarist-ringleader of the band whose debut EP, Words of Sound, releases this week.

Widman, who emigrated from Sweden to the States for college, formed Love In October in early 2006 with his bass-playing brother (and longtime music partner), Kent Widman. The Swedish school system was partially responsible for the brothers' musical training. "I think the reason Sweden has so much pop music is related to the system of music education over there. People here in the U.S. tend to learn on their own more. American rock music is more rhythmic. Swedish rock is more about chord structure and melody," Erik Widman states matter-of-factly. Keen on the kind of theatrical ecstasy exemplified by bands like Queen, both Widmans gravitate toward a strongly pop-centric aesthetic.

Encouraged by the support other art forms like dance and theater receive here, Erik Widman chose the Twin Cities as the birthplace for Love In October. "There are a lot of different mediums and genres that are accessible in Minneapolis," he points out. Joined by guitarist Nick Pfeifer and drummer Mike Swanson, Love in October take full advantage of the community's interest in intermedia escapades.

Their live shows are highly visual events boasting all sorts of short-attention-span entertainment, incorporating dance routines performed in matching outfits and props like strobe lights and mannequins. They've recently launched segments they call "Intermission Theater," in which the band stops the show and attempts to act out the whole of a Broadway play in less than two minutes. "We've done Cats, The Lion King, Titanic, The Sound of Music—it's pretty fun," Erik Widman gushes. "We've tried choreographing some of it, but it's better if it's improvised, you can play off the crowd and get them involved."

Sharply aware of the potential in building a fan base online, the band has taken its stage act to the web. On their website and their MySpace page, they've posted videos of themselves singing silly songs about holidays, doing choreographed couch dancing to the Black Eyed Peas' "My Humps," and performing awkward sketch comedy, including an absurdist parody of The Dating Game.

Words of Sound is a tight, hook-laden record with enough bounce and pop to connect with the same crowd as Dropping Daylight. Yet Love in October's greatest talent may be their ability to express a goofy personality that establishes intimacy with their audience. For their first real music video, to be shown at their CD-release party, the band chose the disc's standout cut, "A Day in the Life." While the track itself is strong, it's the cinematized spectacle of the song that takes a real shot at the throngs. Eager to sell itself and capable of using every convenient medium to do so, Love in October ham it up on the webcam with hope that their music can ride piggyback. - Christopher Jensen


"CityPages"

Love in October played an exuberant set at the Varsity Theater last Thursday night, but the real highlight of the evening was the new video for their single, "A Day in the Life Of." Directed by Justin Staggs, the mini-epic screened to a mostly female crowd after the band finished its set. With characters in ball gowns, plumage-topped wigs, and come-hither fans, the production was like Marie Antoinette cast in emo-saturated shades of scarlet and jade. Soldiers gallant in formal attire chased aristocratic lasses up and down red-covered stairways while the guitars bled with melodic angst. And in between the handclap verses and hooky choruses, I tried to match each onscreen mademoiselle with the audience member I suspected had played her. - Sarah Askari


"Revolt Media Review"

(4 out of 5 stars)
Love In October’s full-length debut, Pontus, The Devil, And Me, has garnered a great deal of attention from college listeners and with good reason. The album is a solid effort that has something for everyone and only slips up occasionally. The band itself has described it as schizophrenic, and though that might be a somewhat harsh assessment, it also isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Pontus, The Devil, And Me is packed with songs that fall into one of three categories: songs that tell a story, songs that are fast, dark and angry, or songs that are personally reflective. With such a variety, the album doesn’t fall into the trap of becoming dull or boring. While it isn’t exactly the ground-breaking, earth-shattering album of the year, that doesn’t mean it lacks potential.

“Circa 1989” opens the album with a fast beat and a liberal dose of keyboards. As vocalist Erik Widman reflects on growing up in Sweden in the verses, there isn’t a tremendous amount going on for the other members of the band, with a limited guitar line and simple drumming. However, the only real fault one might find with the song is the ending which takes just a little too long and is comprised of Widman nostalgically repeating “those were the best days that we had.”

“A Day In The Life Of” and “Viva La Revolución” offer more musical variety for the other members of the band. “A Day In The Life Of” still maintains the pop-oriented nature of “Circa 1989” but has more interesting guitar-work in the introduction as well as throughout the verses and chorus. Where the first two tracks are on the pop side of things, “Viva La Revolución” has a harder edge to it which is impossible to miss in the first ten seconds of the song. Erik Widman’s voice occasionally becomes falsetto which jars slightly but isn’t used to excess. Particularly good is the instrumental bridge later in the song, a guitar riff alluded to earlier in the song that finally gets a chance to develop.

Founding members Erik and Kent Widman decided to include “Vi Går Till Stranden” which is the only song on the album in their native Swedish. The problem with the track, however, is not rooted in the language barrier but in the slow, syrupy sounding melody and irritating keyboards. Listeners won’t need to know Swedish to guess that this song falls into the personal reflection category. The Widmans should definitely record another Swedish track, but a ballad might not be the best way to go just yet.

“An Average Idea” follows and manages to eliminate some of the lingering feelings from “Vi Går Till Stranden.” The short track is purely instrumental with heavy focus on the synthesizer. “Petrula The Destroyer” is a track unlike any other on the album. With Erik Widman contributing on the piano, the track maintains a rock and roll feel with a cool undertone of crashing chords. The verses are manic and almost pull in a little of a punk feel which contrasts greatly with the chorus but the difference works and makes “Petrula” one of the best songs on the album.

For some artists, having such a variety on an album might be a sign that they don’t know what kind of a musician they want to be. For Love In October, the mixture is akin to a mostly tasty sampler of snacks, some are great, some are good and one or two should have been left out of the mix. – EVELYN MISKA
- Revolt Media


"Kerrang! Magazine Review"

MINNEAPOLIS-BASED SWEDES GO POP ON SPARKLING DEBUT (4 OUT OF 5 STARS)

If there’s one thing Swedish do even better than affordable flat-pack furniture, it’s pop. Love in October, while ostensibly a rock band, have an ABBA streak in them so pop they might just burst; the melodies and itchy keyboard lines jumping like Mexican beans. But like fellow Minneapolis residents Motion City Soundtrack, there’s an underlying darkness that makes the whole thing fascinating, the tunes skewed and bouncing ,madly over dewy-eyed nostalgia for childhood (Circa 1989), the deceptively sugary highs slowly revealing a sighing sense of ennui that makes for a smart, immersive listen.

-Emma Johnston
- Kerrang! Magazine


"CMJ Review"

The debut LP from this Minneapolis-based four-piece is soaked through with sharp, single-string guitar lines, bouncy keys and large, overstated choruses. Too blithe to be punk and too edgy to be power-pop, their songs reside somewhere between Blink-182 and the New Pornographers—that is to say, inconsistent, but maddeningly catchy. Swedish-born brothers Erik and Kent Widman started the band a little over a year ago and quickly released a six-song EP. Their exuberance is everywhere in the music and not just because, of these eleven-tracks, only three clock in above three-minutes. On songs like "A Day In The Life Of" and "An Average Idea," they pursue their ideas as if the song might slip away from them should they give it a chance. Spiny electric guitars chase after galloping Moog riffs and four-plucks-a-second bass lines. And though every track smacks of meter, they never comes off as rushed. There are a couple of throwaways here, mostly towards the end of the album, but nothing fatal. It's essentially a record you'll recognize instantly, but enjoy all the more for that reason. - CMJ


"Alternative Press Review"

The Story So Far: Brothers Erik (vocals, guitar, synthesizer) and Kent (bass, synthesizer) Widman relocated to Minneapolis after growing up in Sweden, bringing a piece of home along. "[In Sweden] we learned super-secret Swedish music theory, which has shaped the sound of Love in October," hints Erik. What exactly is that sound? Think synth-embellished indie-pop with smart songwriting a la fellow Minnesotans Motion City Soundtrack.

Why You Should Know Them: Aside from recording their debut EP, Words of Sound, with producer Ed Rose (MCS, The Get Up Kids), the band's video for "A Day in the Life Of" landed on mtvU and VH1's VSpot. TGUK's Ryan Pope even recorded drums for their upcoming full-length. The best part? LIO have the talent to back it up. "Each band member can play [everyone else's] respective instruments," says Erik, "and we often trade instruments when playing live." - Alternative Press


"Spin.com Artist of the Day"

Who? After moving to the Midwestern U.S. from their native Sweden in the early 2000s, brothers Erik (vocals/guitar/piano/Moog) and Kent Widman (bass/Moog) began power-pop outfit Love in October in Minneapolis in 2006. Their debut EP, Words of Sound, graced ears in early 2007. For their studio full-length, Pontus, the Devil, and Me, due out Jan. 22, the band is rounded out by Charlie Abbott (guitar/ piano) and Chresten Hyde (drums).

What's the Deal? With producer Ed Rose (Get Up Kids, The Appleseed Cast) at the helm, Love in October posit emo and power-pop tunes along the lines of Motion City Soundtrack and the Plain White T's. The short-and-sweet tunes on Pontus, the Devil, and Me primarily spin tales of personal frustration and unrequited love brushed with tints of exasperation and frustration. If there's any doubt about the band's Swedish roots, the haunting "Vi Går Till Stranden" is sung entirely in Wildman's native tongue and nostalgic album opener "Circa 1989" is an ode to growing up in Sweden.

Fun Fact: Not ones to be creatively stifled, the brothers Widman also fashion short films, and their music video for "A Day in the Life Of" earned the group a 2007 mtvU Woodie nomination for Best Music On Campus.
- Spin.com


"Skope Magazine Review"

Quick: think of the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions the most popular bands that came out of Sweden. Many people would think of ABBA, and then struggle a bit after that. However, the past couple of years have seen some very positive buzz coming from that country via the successes of The Hives and Peter Bjorn and John.

A possible future addition to that list just might be Love in October. Their first full-length CD Pontus, The Devil, And Me, is a promising debut that will appeal to most pop rock fans. Interestingly, LiO is now based out of Minneapolis, and the group has embraced the American indie rock/emo sound. The opening track, "Circa 1989," showcases this best. It's a great guitar-based song with a catchy chorus reminscent of Jimmy Eat World.

LiO is not just a band that has stolen a familiar sound, however. Its two leaders, Erik and Kent Widman, have wisely decided to mix things up. Instead of just guitar-heavy tracks, there is a good use of piano and keyboards on some tracks including the beautifully disorganized instrumental "An Average Idea" and the rambunctious yet infectious "Petrula the Destroyer."

Sure, Pontus, The Devil, And Me isn't groundbreaking musically. And the album's title--which is meant to be a reflection on people's nature--is a bit overbearing. But any band that can record a good song with lyrics entirely sung in Swedish (the quiet "Vi Gar till Stranden") and get away with it deserves praise. - Skope Magazine


"Spin Magazine Review"

Led by the Swedish-born, Minneapolis-based brothers Erik and Kent Widman, this quartet balances well-wrought emo tunefulness (the could-be hit "A Day in the Life Of") with onslaughts of guitar and rhythm (the angular "Viva la Revolucion"). But they're at their best with winningly revved-up power pop like the childhood reminiscence "Circa 1989" or the fleet sing-along "Find Me Sunshine." Singer/guitarist Erik's vocals have a smiling wistfulness, and the music is meticulously crafted (with assistance from Get Up Kids drummer Ryan Pope and producer Ed Rose). With Motion City Soundtrack all grown up, these boys are next in line. - Spin Magazine


"NPR Second Stage"

Swedish-born brothers Erik and Kent Widman formed Love in October in 2006, after moving to Minneapolis, Minn. The following year, the band released its Words of Sound EP before following it up with the full-length Pontus, The Devil, And Me at the start of 2008. Rounded out by Nik Pfeifer on guitar and Brian Boesen on drums, Love in October is the sort of group that fans of Top 40 pop-punk have longed for. Pontus, The Devil, And Me features the spirited energy, rocking guitars and irrestible hooks of the genre, but with more thoughtful execution and clever songwriting.

The album begins strong with fast, driving drum beats and guitar riffs, along with bursts of synthesizer on the track "Circa 1989." It's a song written by Erik Widman about his time growing up in Sweden. The Widmans' birthplace is paid tribute to later on the album, via the vastly different "Vi Gar Till Stranden." Sung entirely in Swedish, "Vi Gar Till Stranden" is a glimpse into the gentler side of Love in October, and the quiet instrumentation helps to showcase Erik Widman's beautifully yearning vocals.

Where the band fully reveals its talent, though, is on "Petrula the Destroyer," with its fast-paced start and the jarring pounding of low octave piano chords. Just as quickly as it begins, the song transitions into a lighter, cheerier chorus and then jets forward once again, turning "Petrula the Destroyer" into an unexpected roller coaster that, like much of Pontus, The Devil, And Me, travels successfully between multiple pop-rock moods and styles. - NPR.org


Discography

Love in October II EP
To Be Released early 2011

Love in October EP
May 26th, 2009
- #14 Most Added on CMJ
- #73 CMJ Radio 200

Pontus, The Devil, and Me January 22, 2008
- #45 on CMJ Radio 200
- #7 Most Added on CMJ

Words of Sound EP
March 2007
-#20 Most Added on CMJ, Heavy College Radio Airplay

Photos

Bio

LOVE IN OCTOBER = SYNTHS + RETRO BASS + HEAVY BEATS

The experiment started 15 years ago when the brothers Widman started playing music together in a bedroom in northern Sweden. Over the years the band has had various lineups, names, and styles but the formula has always been the same: Erik & Kent making noise…LOUD NOISE! These days the brothers are sticking to the synthesizers and combining dance music with indie rock, merging the best of both worlds. The brothers are influenced by American Funk and Swedish Pop music from the 70s and 80s. Most of 2010 has been spent in the studio recording a new full length and an EP, both to be release early spring 2011.

Love in October officially formed in the summer of 2006 in Minneapolis. After releasing an EP and a full length the band moved to Chicago to find a better home for their eclectic music. In 2009 the released a self titled EP that found great success being licensed in commercials for Converse, Microsoft, Shoe Carnival, and Quicksilver Clothing. Their song “Viva la Revolucion” became the theme song for the new VH1 reality series “Sex Rehab”. All this while playing over 80 shows including major festivals like CMJ and NXNE.

"Think synth-embellished indie-pop with smart songwriting" - Alternative Press

"...there's an underlying darkness that makes the whole thing fascinating" - Kerrang!

MUSIC VIDEOS:
“Nature of the Experiment” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zABWt8EHDeA
"Soft Errors" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dq_yyB77_Ms
"Petrula the Destroyer" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZkMUh4bvi4
"An Average Idea" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAX3fx-wT8Q
"A Day in the Life Of" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xhn2nyQyBU

MUSIC FESTIVALS:
- CMJ 2009, 2010
- NXNE 2009, 2010
- DFest 2007, 2008, 2009
- Midpoint Music Festival 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
- Play:STL Festival 2007, 2008, 2009
- Millennium Music Conference 2008
- Mid-American Music Festival 2008, 2010
- North vs. South Festival 2008

TOURS:
Love in October tours nationally and has played many prestigious venues, including: Six Flags, Double Door (Chicago), Varsity Theater (Minneapolis), The Annex (NYC), and many more. We have shared the stage with Peter Bjorn & John, Plain White T's, Secondhand Serenade, Shiny Toy Guns, The Apples in Stereo, Hot Hot Heat.