Lovers and Poets
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Lovers and Poets

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Band EDM Pop

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L+P are:

Shannon Hurley – vocals, synthesizers, programming
Ben Eisen – bass, programming
All songs are written by Shannon Hurley.

Lovers and Poets (husband-and-wife team of Shannon Hurley and Ben Eisen) formed in Nashville in 2009. Their influences range from Zero7, Air, and LaRoux, to Human League and Gary Numan. Now based in L.A., L+P is getting some notice from the media. KGRL.FM named the Lovers and Poets’ upcoming release one of the “top ten albums to watch out for in 2010.”

Airplay includes KCRW, Groovera Radio, BelowZero Beats, Indie Pop Rocks! on Soma.FM, and Chillcast with Anji Bee.

Tracks:

Life Is Strange
Head Under Water
I Keep Falling
Real Love
Run
I Saw The Rain
Links

Website: www.loversandpoetsmusic.com
iTunes: L+P on iTunes
- The Film Vault Editor



Let’s start at the beginning. At what age did you know that being an artist is what you wanted to be?
I was in college majoring in music at the University of Colorado in trombone performance. Then by a fluke, I happen to enroll in a songwriting class taught by Pat Leonard. He's the guy who wrote "La Isla Bonita" and "Live to Tell" and "Cherish" with Madonna. I think that was the only time CU ever offered a course like that..Shortly after I got my degree I started working at the Fox Theatre in Boulder. I was interning as a stage hand and got to witness performances by Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Morcheeba, and Rufus Wainright. Then I bought a keyboard and a guitar, and learned every Beatles song to learn about the craft of songwriting (great advice from Pat Leonard) and joined a couple of bands as a keyboardist. My first band was called Frieden, a folk rock quartet that was basically a group of friends and we'd play covers and originals written by our singer/guitarist. It was so much fun that I joined another band, Jyemo, who became somewhat of a fixture on the jam band scene in Colorado. Then I moved to LA and joined a Duran Duran tribute band (yes, I was Nick Rhodes) and it was there that I met my future husband, Ben Eisen (AKA John Taylor).

Can you explain how Lovers & Poets came to be?
Well my husband and I had each been living in LA since the early 2000's and after we got married we decided to move to Nashville. So in the spring of 2009 Ben was looking at craigslist and found an ad from someone looking to start a chill out/ downtempo project. So I immediately answered that ad and met Bryan Talbot at Bongo Java. It was incredible to me that someone in Nashville wanted to make electronic music and I felt like he and I were "rebels" in the scene. We were black sheep in a land of country music -especially given that his dad is Joe Talbot, a legendary country music publisher and famous pedal steel player for Hank Snow ("I've Been Everywhere").

I started taking songs to Bryan and we would collaborate in his Belle Meade studio. Together we made "I Keep Falling" and "The Things We Do for Love". One day, during my shift as a hostess at Noshville, I thought of the name 'Lovers and Poets'. Bryan liked that idea too and suddenly we became a band. We were gaining momentum with our project, and Bryan and I had lots of creative ideas in the studio, and I was writing more and more with Lovers and Poets in mind. Then our collaborative relationship took a turn for the worse when I wrote "Life is Strange". Here's what happened: I demoed the song on my Macbook, and then I lost the files when I upgraded to a new operating system. In trying to re-create that original demo, I took the song to Bryan and we worked on it in his studio. We even brought in a guitarist and even though all efforts had been made on this song, it didn't have the feel I wanted. So I took the song back and recorded and mixed it all myself even though Bryan still wanted to be involved in the song. I feel terrible about how I just yanked the song out of his hands but I can't explain how obsessed I was with getting the song just right. Anyways, that is why I think the partnership ended- I just wanted to have too much control of our sound..I felt like a surrogate mom who had a baby and suddenly didn't want to give up her child.

By November of 2009 Bryan and I had disbanded but he let me keep the Lovers and Poets name. I naturally turned to Ben, who had come up with every single bass line and helped guide the groove of the songs. We recorded 8 more songs using Garageband on my Macbook. So now it's Ben and myself as Lovers and Poets. We moved back to LA in April 2010 and now we have just released our debut album and are just starting to do live shows.

Do you draw inspiration for your material from real life experiences?
Yes, but in a different way than my solo material, which is straight-up auto-biographical stuff. I went to see Ralph Murphy speak in Nashville and he said that a songwriter doesn't have to just write about what actually happened. One can write about what could have been. That opened up a new door for me. I started thinking about a car accident that happened to me in 1999. I fell asleep at the wheel and my car rolled off a small cliff. I woke up in mid-tumble and I thought I was going to die. My car was completely totaled but miraculously I escaped without injury, only mild shock as I was carried away in an ambulance.
That was the seed for "Life is Strange". I thought, what if I was traveling in a car with someone I loved? And what if one of us had lived while the other was lost? How painful would that be? Also, I had such a disoriented feeling when I awoke in the air...it was like flying through time. I wanted to convey that slow motion sense. In the song, I made it more of a release, like a soothing, strange trip of emotion.

If you had to be stranded on a deserted island for the rest of your life and could only have 5 albums with you, what albums would they be?
Ben makes fun of me for this because every time we go somewhere in my car, I have Keane in my cd player. So I would say "Hopes and Fears" by Keane. Also, "Dusty in Memphis" by Dusty Springfield would come with me, as well as my 6 disc box set of "Totally 80's". "Revolver" and "Sgt. Pepper" would round out the list.

What type of movie/television show would you say Lovers & Poets music would best work in?
I will leave that up to the experts. :)

Describe how you think the world would be without music?
Unremarkeable.

Where do you see the music industry in 10 years?
Well there will always be music so the industry may change but we will find our way around.

Are there any plans for Lovers & Poets to tour in the near future?
Yes- we are planning a San Francisco show and a trip down to San Diego as well. We plan on doing many shows around California and then expanding on to do more gigs throughout the west coast by 2011. We would love to do SXSW next year too.

If fans want to keep up with the latest happenings with Lovers & Poets what can they do?
Join our mailing list at http://www.loversandpoetsmusic.com
Also, follow us at http://www.twitter.com/loversandpoets and fan us at http://www.facebook.com/loversandpoets
Our music can be purchased at http://www.cdbaby.com/loversandpoets2

Finally, what is the name of the cat in your intro video?
Donut. She's a little hellion. - Antoine Davis


KGRL's Top Ten Albums to Watch Out for in 2010

Lovers And Poets

Shannon Hurley is one of our favorite indie-pop singer songwriters. Imagine our surprise when she let slip the news of a new electro-pop band that goes by the name Lovers And Poets. Originally a duo between Bryan Talbot and Shannon Hurley, Lovers And Poets now has Shannon's husband Ben Eisen on bass duty to replace Bryan citing serious creative differences as the reason for their parting of ways. Shannon recently moved to Nashville, Tennessee but is expected to come back to Los Angeles, California in April 2010. Not only are we expecting a debut album from Lovers And Poets in 2010, but a sophomore effort from Shannon is also on the way. For more good stuff about Shannon Hurley, let me point you to our August 2008 FPA feature.
- Mysty


A songwriting interview – Shannon Hurley


This week I exchanged a few emails with a singer-songwriter named Shannon Hurley. She recently moved from LA to Nashville, and as a consequence her songwriting became less country.

I know, that sounds counterintuitive. I’ll let her explain:

Shannon: My songwriting changed in the most unexpected way. Instead of wanting to fit into the country genre, I went further out of the realm. I find that I quite like being the “indie-pop” songwriter in a city of country music. I am enjoying the experimentation of electronica, downtempo, chill-pop, etc. and blending them into my singer-songwriter world.

Tom: When and how did you start writing songs?

Shannon: I wrote my first song when I was about seven. It was called “Georgia Moonlight”. I remember exactly how it goes, and if someone paid me $1,000 then I will sing it. I even have the cassette tape I recorded it on..Maybe I’ll put it up on podcast for my own embarrassment

Tom: Music or lyrics?

Shannon: Both! They seem to happen for me at the same time. I often sit at my piano and start noodling around until a lyrical phrase and a melodic idea come together.

Tom: Have you got any tricks or tactics to come up with new songwriting ideas?

Shannon: Lately I have been enamored with bringing up different loops in Garageband. That’s the way “Life is Strange” (from my new project Lovers and Poets) started. A fresh groove is a great way to create a new song.
That particular loop I used in “Life is Strange” is just one of the basic “club” beats that comes with Garageband.

Tom: Your songs are very American, and very traditional. Are you ever tempted to go crazy and throw in five key changes then break into a 7/8 groove?

Shannon: Hmmm, probably not. I am not big into progressive meter changes or progressions that seem to go in random directions. I like simplicity, and all my favorite songs are easy to sing and play. The Kinks, The Who, Tom Petty, and The Beatles all had some great songs with only 3-4 chord changes. But who’s to say that I’ll never throw in an extra beat or an unpredictable chord? I will if the song calls for it. I’m just a slave to the song!

Tom: Personally I always over use certain chord progressions or keys – I have way too many songs in E lydian for example. Have you got any songwriting clichés you over use?

Shannon: I think every songwriter has little ticks and idiosynchrosies they rely on. Either you can fight it and try to go in entirely different direction, or you can use it to your advantage and it can become your “sound”. I don’t want to admit what I think is my weakness because that “weakness” may be what is drawing some listener into my music. But I know what I have to work with, and I am aware that my muscle memory is to play a certain way on the keyboard..but sometimes I will test my comfort zone and go off in a completely new songwriting direction.

Tom: The sample of Lovers and Poets sounds very different to your solo songs. What’s the idea behind this new project?

Shannon: I feel like my solo material is very personal and autobiographical. It’s also more organic with a full band sound. Lovers and Poets is more fanciful, and not based in reality. Instead, I chose to write about fictional situations or skewed the truth in some way to create alternate endings to things that have really happened to me. “Life is Strange” is a half-truth; I fell asleep at the wheel of my car in South Park, Colorado after playing keyboards for the band I was in at the time (called Jyemo). We had gotten through a sunrise set on the 4th of July. All I remember is listening to “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”, and then I was in the air, then the air bag inflated, shards of glass were everywhere, and I rolled a couple times in slow motion. I thought I was in heaven. Luckily I was unhurt (except for a case of shock) but it was the catalyst for the song. I heard Ralph Murphy speak here in Nashville, and he said there are no regrets in songwriting.

We can create our own truths, and things that didn’t happen, we can make them happen in our songs. So I thought, well, what if I wasn’t driving alone? What if I had a passenger..somebody I loved..and what if one of us died in the accident? And I wanted to be vague, like you can’t tell which of us had died. Or both. And I really wanted to tell a story of how fragile life is, how random life is.

Well shoot, I didn’t mean to end up on such a morbid note. On a more positive side, “The Things We Do for Love” is a song I wrote as a tribute to one of my favorite bands- Belle and Sebastian. So there, I hope readers feel warm and fuzzy now- I know B&S always does that for me!

Check out Shannon’s songs here!


November 14th, 2009 | Category: Other People, interviews - Tom Slatter


Lovers and Poets are Shannon Hurley & Ben Eisen, a husband and wife electronic duo from Los Angeles. They are releasing their debut s/t album later this month, and have shared a song called “Life Is Strange” from the album. Its a light airy song that has a cool lounge atmosphere that reminded me of acts like Zero 7. Shannon has a lovely voice that is a treat for the ears.

This is a good song to play early in the morning, to help set your day right with some happy tunes. Life sure is strange but it’s easier with good music like this. - Will


After Ben Eisen – one half of the electronica-pop duo that is Lovers and Poets – contacted me about their upcoming self titled album, I had a listen and realized it was exactly what I needed. Shannon Hurley (named as one of Rolling Stone’s top 25 best bands on MySpace) and Ben have combined to successfully produce beautiful, peaceful electronic tunes.

After a somewhat stressful week, my introduction to Lovers and Poets’ opening song ‘Life Is Strange’ proved to be both calming and thought provoking. The rest of the album was of a similar caliber, showing much potential for future productions by the pair.

Lovers and Poets have produced a satisfying and enjoyable debut album, with traces of a La Roux and Massive Attack influence. It features memorable pop hooks in conjunction with thoughtful electro-synth sounds. Standout songs were the aforementioned ‘Life Is Strange’, as well as a more upbeat ‘The Things We Do For Love’.



If you like, head on over to http://amiestreet.com/music/lovers-and-poets/ for purchase.

Callum - Keeping an Ear Out (music blog) (Jul 25, 2010) - Callum


Discography

Lovers and Poets (2010)

Photos

Bio

l+p are: Shannon Hurley- vocals, synthesizers, programming Ben Eisen- bass, programming All songs are written by Shannon Hurley. Lovers and Poets (husband-and-wife team of Shannon Hurley and Ben Eisen) formed in Nashville in 2009. Their influences range from Zero7, Air, and LaRoux, to Human League and Gary Numan. Now based in L.A., L+P have been played on KCRW, Groovera Radio, Adam Carolla's ACE Broadcasting Network (on the Film Vault), and Chillcast with Anji Bee. KGRL.FM named the Lovers and Poets' upcoming release one of the "top ten albums to watch out for in 2010".

In December 2009 Shannon went to Saigon, Vietnam for three months to take a lounge gig at the Hyatt Hotel, where she remotely recorded and mixed most of the album, having had Ben record his bass parts from Nashville. They both moved back to Los Angeles to wrap up the record. The debut album, "Lovers and Poets", can be found on iTunes and on CD Baby.